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Sheriff: Deputy fatally shot man thought to have knife in Burien — but it was a pen

BURIEN, Wash. — The King County Sheriff’s Office on Friday released more details on a deputy’s fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man in Burien on June 13.

The sheriff’s office said that at about midnight on June 13, there were multiple 911 calls reporting a man “with a knife” and gunfire. Callers described the suspect as wearing black shorts and shouting “I am the Creator” and “I am the killer.”

“Deputies learned (from witnesses) that an unknown man had attacked one of them with a knife, trying to stab him.  The man ran to his friends’ house, who retrieved a pistol and went outside.  The suspect came after the homeowner as well, so he fired a round into the ground in an attempt to stop the suspect from advancing, but to no avail.  The suspect was lunging with the knife and one man ran off and the homeowner managed to retreat into the house and called 9-1-1, just as the man stabbed at the front door,” the sheriff’s office said.

No one was injured.

One of the witnesses pointed out the suspect, about a half-block away or so, and walking down the street toward the officers and residents, the sheriff’s office said. Two officers confronted him and told him to drop whatever was in his hand.  The suspect kept advancing as the deputies backed away and circled around the man, “who was making stabbing motions.”

“The deputies were between the suspect and the residents who were still outside.  Both deputies eventually used their Tasers but to no effect.  As the suspect continued to advance on the deputies, Deputy (Cesar) Molina fired several times and the man was hit and fell to the ground.  Deputies rendered first aid and a Fire Department Aid Car was called.  The suspect was pronounced dead at Harborview.”

The sheriff’s office said the “the object the suspect had in his hand at the time of the shooting was a pen.”

The man was identified as Tommy Le, 20, who lived in the area.

The shooting is under investigation. The deputies — Cesar Molina and Tanner Owens — have been placed on paid administrative leave.

“Detectives are unsure why the Taser had no effect.  At least one of the probes stuck the suspect.  Others may have missed or they may have been too close together to incapacitate the suspect,” the sheriff’s office said.