Tommy Le was shot in the back by King County Deputies autopsy shows; Le family files claim against Sheriff's office for $10 million
The autopsy report explaining the manner of the death of 20 year old Tommy Le in Burien last June was made public Thursday morning Sept. 7. It revealed that Le died as a result of gunshot wounds fired by King County Deputies and that he was shot twice in the back.
At the same time the family of Le announced their claim in the amount of $10 million against the King County Sheriff's Office for his death during a press conference. They have 60 days to file a lawsuit following the filing of the claim.
The exact circumstances surrounding Le's death are still unclear. He was shot at 136th Avenue South and Third Avenue South June 14 in an incident during which he was said to be behaving in a threatening manner. That led to a 911 call and the arrival of ten patrol units. At first the King County Sheriff's Office said that Le was seen advancing on deputies armed with a knife, but then later changed the story to say he was holding a pen. There is no evidence aside from the claims of the deputies that Le had any kind of weapon at any time
During the press conference the attorney representing his family, Jeffrey Campiche said Le had no weapon
The Sheriff's office said that Deputy Cesar Molina fired six shots. According to the autopsy. two hit Le in the back and one hit him in the wrist. It showed he had no drugs in his system, was not apparently a serial drug user and had not been drinking.
Le's family said Tommy had never shown signs of mental health issues.
The Sheriff's Office incident report states several people called 911 about midnight June 14, reporting a man with a knife and gunfire claiming the man was shouting, "I am the creator" and "I am the killer" while trying to stab people.
The report states that one person was attacked with a knife and ran to his friend's house, where he grabbed a pistol and went outside again. Le reportedly came after the homeowner, so the person with the pistol fired a round into the ground to allegedly try to stop Le from coming closer but that didn't work.
The report goes on to say that Le lunged at people with a knife and the homeowner retreated to his house to call 911 as the man stabbed at the front door.
As deputies began their investigation one of the alleged victims saw Le about a half block away and identified him as the suspect. He walking down the street toward the officers and residents with something in his hand the report says.
Le was confronted by officers Cesar Molina and Tanner Owens who ordered him to drop whatever was in his hand, According to the Sheriff's office Le kept coming prompting the deputies to back away and circle around him. The deputies then both used their Tasers, which had no effect, possibly because it did not penetrate his clothing.
Le continued to advance on deputies, according to the report prompting Molina to fire the shots that killed him.