ARLINGTON, Wash. – Investigators are still piecing together what led up to two Arlington Police officers opening fire Tuesday, critically wounding a 17-year-old girl.
Investigators said the officers responded to North Olympic Avenue for a disturbance call but ended up shooting a teenager, saying she had a knife.
Aaron Snell, the public information officer for the Snohomish County Multi-Agency Response Team, said there is evidence at the scene that shows one of the two officers who opened fire may have tried using a Taser. Investigators said they recovered a knife the teenage girl allegedly had on her.
But several protesters in downtown Arlington said they know the young girl and don’t believe she did what police allege.
“The injustice is huge and no way should they be using lethal force on a 17-year-old,” said Lisa Marie Beltjens.
The protesters help up hand-made signs, and they were furious that two city police officers used lethal force against a teenage girl.
“They choose to use their pistol on a child? What’s the pepper spray for?” asked Jeremy Osgood, who said he is a family friend of the girl shot.
Osgood said he is convinced the teenager is not violent.
“All I know is that the Arlington Police probably had five other ways to subdue a teenage girl other than to shoot her,” he said.
Investigators said it all started about 5 a.m. Tuesday after someone called 911 to report a disturbance. Police said they arrived and separated a boyfriend and girlfriend arguing, and said the girl had a knife.
Two officers opened fire, striking the girl. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition.
“We’re still working with witnesses to make sure that the full scenario and timeline actually occurred and we know what happened,” said Snell.
The two officers who opened fire have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. One is described as a 12-year-veteran of the department, the other a two-year-veteran.