Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

ARLINGTON — A teenage girl who was shot by two Arlington police officers in February might face criminal charges.

She was 17 at the time but has since had a birthday.

The young woman allegedly assaulted her boyfriend and the officers that night before the gunfire, according to information released by police Wednesday afternoon. The officers alleged that she was suicidal and armed with a knife.

The investigation was conducted by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, a task force of detectives assigned to police shootings. They recently closed their case.

Detectives recommended the young woman be charged with two counts of felony second-degree assault. They also referred charges for misdemeanor fourth-degree domestic-violence assault and disorderly conduct, said Everett police officer Aaron Snell, a SMART spokesman.

Their findings were forwarded to Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe. He will determine if any charges will be filed against the girl or the officers involved in the Feb. 14 shooting. As part of that review, he considers whether the use of force was legally justified.

The shooting happened early in the morning.

Police found the girl shortly before 5 a.m. She reportedly was lying in the street outside the Arlington post office and yelling. Witnesses said she talked about wanting to die.

Her boyfriend was standing nearby. His face was bloody. He told police she had struck him earlier that night after leaving a party. She thought he had cheated on her, according to court documents.

An officer said he could arrest the young woman for disorderly conduct if she didn’t move out of the road. She stood up, walked to a black Infiniti and locked herself inside, according to police. Officers said they saw her rummaging through the center console. Shortly after, they say she tapped a knife on the window and then held the blade to her throat.

The officer said he drew his gun. He told the sergeant to break the car window and deploy his stun gun. The young woman reportedly lunged through the shattered window at the sergeant with the knife.

Police said she crawled through the window and faced the sergeant. He used his stun gun with no effect, and tried again.

The young woman was standing about 15 feet away when the officers opened fire.

She was shot in the chest and lower right side.

The girl’s family shared a different story of what happened through a blog. They said the girl was sad, and was working through an anxiety attack while sitting in her car. They didn’t believe she was dangerous.

As a high school student, she also was enrolled in community college courses. She has no criminal history.

The Snohomish County branch of the NAACP has called for an independent review of the case. The girl is African-American.

She is represented by Everett attorney Pete Mazzone. He earlier urged people not to jump to conclusions about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, which he characterized at the time as both “disturbing and disputed.”

Mazzone on Wednesday declined comment because he had not yet seen the report filed by SMART detectives.

Both officers since have returned to work.

On Wednesday, SMART detectives also concluded an investigation into the Aug. 31 death of an inmate at the Snohomish County Jail. Marcus Manning, 35, had been arrested by Everett police and reportedly struggled with officers. He became unresponsive after he was shocked with a stun gun.

The Snohomish County medical examiner determined his death was caused by multiple factors. Manning experienced “excited delirium,” a state of agitation often documented when people die in custody, particularly in cases of mental illness or substance abuse.

That case also has been forwarded to Roe for review.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins @heraldnet.com.

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