No charges for Marysville officers in 2018 fatal shooting

Jeffrey Sims moved as if to stab his wife. Police fired at least 20 bullets, killing him.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville man was armed with a 3-inch folding knife and possibly combative, his wife reportedly told a 911 dispatcher in September 2018, according to new documents obtained by The Daily Herald. He had been showing signs of being suicidal and might have recently used drugs, she said.

When officers arrived at the Marysville house shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2018, they saw him make a move as if to stab his wife, according to documents. She screamed.

“He tried to stab me,” she yelled, according to documents. “He stabbed me in the arm.”

Three Marysville officers opened fire.

Jeffrey Sims, 37, died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

A medical examiner extracted 13 bullets from his body and counted 26 gunshot wounds in all, some of which were described as grazing. Detectives found 20 bullets at the scene.

In a Nov. 15 memorandum, Prosecutor Adam Cornell wrote that he would not be filing charges against the three officers.

“It is clear that (the officers) used deadly force without malice to protect the life of Ms. Sims, whom they reasonably believed was in mortal danger from her estranged husband’s unprovoked and potentially deadly knife-wielding advance,” he wrote.

The prosecutor’s memorandum, and an investigation summary by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, were obtained through a public records request.

SMART is a countywide task force of detectives assigned to cases in which police have used potentially fatal force.

Sims worked at an outlet mall in Marysville, according to investigation documents. His employer told detectives Sims was introverted, but a good employee. A month before the September shooting, however, Sims began calling in sick, the employer reported.

In an interview with SMART detectives, Sims’ wife said she and her husband had been living apart for weeks.

When she got home from work Sept. 18, Sims was sitting on the couch, she told detectives. They argued about whether he could stay.

They were in the driveway when police arrived. If the officers hadn’t intervened, the woman reportedly said he might have killed her.

“I think I would be dead,” she said, according to documents. “… I think when I called 911 that he had every intention, I think he had every intention on killing me and possibly killing himself.”

After the attack, the woman reportedly said she was stabbed three times, though she suffered no actual stab wounds, according to documents. During the assault, she fell backward and hit her head on the ground, causing bruising and scratches.

As a SMART detective left the scene of the shooting, the woman reportedly asked to relay a message to the officers who responded to the call.

“Tell them thank you for saving my life,” she said.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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