Deputy shoots at man holding ‘gun’ made of Legos

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The King County Sheriff’s Office says this is the toy gun that prompted a deputy to open fire on a man in Duvall Thursday. The deputy missed, and the man was not injured.

DUVALL, Wash. — A King County sheriff’s deputy shot at a man holding a ‘gun’ made out of Legos Thursday in Duvall,  officials said.

Luckily, the deputy missed the man, who had been waving what appeared to be a black handgun at passing cars and who, officers learned later, was developmentally disabled.

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to NE Woodinville-Duvall Road just east of Mink Road NE at around 11:20 a.m. with reports of a man brandishing a handgun at cars. When the first deputy arrived, the man ignored commands and allegedly pulled what appeared to be a black handgun from his waistband.

“He grabbed the item that was in his waistband and pulled out and pointed at her at what appeared to her to be a gun,” said King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Charlie Akers.

Deputies said the gun from about 20 yards away looked real, but some say the shooting could have been prevented by a caretaker who was by the man’s side during the incident. “The caretaker did not say anything, so the deputy was faced with what she felt was an armed subject,” said Akers.

He allegedly pointed the object at a deputy, who fired several shots at the man. The man dropped to the ground, and luckily was not hit.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said all of their deputies go through training on how to pinpoint and handle the mentally disabled.

The female deputy involved has been on the force for about two decades.  She was shaken up but relieved the man was not hurt, Akers said.

No one is expected to face criminal charges.  The man was taken to a mental institution for evaluation.

The man is a resident of a nearby group home for developmentally disabled adults, and is known to have a fondness for toy guns, officials said.

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16 comments

  • Daniel

    King County Sheriff's office apparently needs to beef up their handgun training and certification requirements, ASAP. Several shots fired and no hits? Disgraceful and dangerous, in my opinion. This man was was lucky that the deputy was so inept.

    • Calissbee

      I used to live in a place called London Ontario, in Canada. An officer once fire 11 shots at a perp, in front of private residences and missed every single time! This suspect was not said to be armed so imagine if he had hit an innocent member of the community when no one was in danger!

    • JoyLeaf

      The Man, the silent Caregiver and anyone else who might have been in the line of fire are lucky she could not hit the side of a barn when standing inside it.

    • Daniel

      To clarify my previous statement, in case I came of as disparaging the sherriffs'd department in general. I fully support and respect our police who do a dangerous job that most of us would never want, much less have the guts to do. Nor am I against the use of deadly force when the situation warrants it. The situation the deputy found herself in here certainly did. If the man was now dead, it would be a tragic irony that the gun was a toy, but that doesn't change the fact that at the time of the shooting, the deputy could not have known that, and was obligated to use deadly force in defense of herself and the public at large. However, I believe that as armed professionals, our police should be expert marksmen, not only for their own survival but for the safety of the public at large. Sherriff Strachan, please insist on more practical shooting training for your deputies, their lives are depending on it.

  • Moose1

    Could be worse. Could be like the 3 New York City cops who fired 41 bullets at a "perp", hit him three times and he still survived!! Now that's marksmanship!! Makes me feel safe!!!

  • Townie

    Well, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. If the police don't hit him, you're all police suck they can't hit their target. If the police had hit him, they suck because they shot a mentally challenged person. Maybe all of you "experts" should go try doing what they do instead of bitching at how inept all officers are.

    • Snoop

      I have done what they do and I can tell you that you should not be able to touch a firearm if you can't hit a man sized target at 60 feet. She must be a 20 year veteran of answering phones.

  • ShortlyOver

    I'm not sure I would've opened fire on a guy from 60 feet away with what the police identified as an innocent bystandard right next to your target.

    Also, I'm pretty sure a cucumber looks like a gun from 60 feet…

  • El_Gato

    Many police departments have a ride-along program for citizens. I recommend that for anyone. That is an eerie feeling when walking into an unknown situation.

  • shawn

    Hana Kim, looks like you went to wrong house and confronted wrong caregiver. The man lives in another house nearby, the caregiver had no idea what you were talking about. Apology is in order. Glad nobody died.

  • Randel Flag

    I'll be honest. I was all ready to jump all over the police until I saw the color and shape of the lago Gun.
    When I think Lago I think Multi color tiles. Because of the color and moving it around fast and in a threatning mannar I can see them shooting. I always try to be fair in my approch and this one goes to the cops. This time.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I know this group home "Ambitions" . Their staff are not well trained and they have LOST several of the people that they care for because their care givers were sleeping on the job. They even support level 1, 2 & 3 sex offenders in homes in the community. Kind of scary since they have a poor track record with supervising these people. Maybe Q13 should dig deeper into this company!