Police shooting criticized at hearing

SEATTLE — The family of a fugitive killed in a police raid at a Monroe apartment held a public meeting Monday, two days before an inquest into his death.

Relatives of Harold McCord Jr. and their attorney, Bradley Marshall of Seattle, met with 15 people Monday night at the Rainier Community Center in Seattle and answered questions about what to expect during the inquest.

"You all have a right to know what the evidence is," Marshall said.

"The shooting that occurred was the most egregious, wrongful shooting I’ve ever been a part of," added Marshall, who has handled previous inquests. "They treated this man worse than they treated Saddam Hussein."

The inquest, a court-supervised inquiry that asks jurors to determine the circumstances surrounding a death, is scheduled to start Thursday in King County Superior Court.

The inquest is being held in King County at the request of King County Executive Ron Sims because McCord died from his injuries at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

McCord, 36, was fatally shot by police June 24, a day after he escaped from the Pierce County Courthouse. The three-strikes felon was facing life in prison when he flashed a fake gun to get past corrections officers.

Monroe and Bothell officers caught him at a Monroe apartment the next day. All who fired their weapons told investigators that they believed McCord was a threat and that a dark-colored, pistol-shaped object in his hand was a real firearm.

Snohomish County prosecutors are still reviewing the findings of an investigation into the shooting to determine whether McCord’s death was a lawful but unfortunate act or a crime.

Mark Roe, the county’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor, previously has said that, in keeping with the law, his decision will be influenced by what was going on in the minds of police at the time they were preparing to apprehend McCord.

McCord’s family has maintained he wanted to surrender but wasn’t given the chance.

Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or schiffner@heraldnet.com.

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