12 witnesses dispute Lynnwood officer’s account of deadly shooting

Investigators at work in the 19200 block of Highway 99 after a January 2017 shooting. (File photo by Natalie Covate)

In January 2017, a Lynnwood police officer shot and killed 36-year-old Jeremy Dowell in the 19200 block of Highway 99. A few months later, an investigation task force found the shooting to be justified, as Dowell had been wielding a knife and reportedly came at officers with the weapon after running in and out of traffic.

But since then, 12 witnesses contacted by an attorney for Dowell’s parents have signed sworn declarations challenging the official version in stark and sharply critical language, according to our online news partner The Seattle Times. Although no one disputed that Dowell was carrying a knife, six people who said they saw the initial confrontation said Dowell never directly threatened Officer Zachary Yates,.

Ten of the witnesses said Yates continued to fire shots at a helpless, stumbling or severely injured Dowell. Five said some rounds were fired while Dowell was on the ground. Some of the witnesses also complained that they weren’t contacted by detectives after giving statements at the scene.

The witness statements are contained in a federal civil-rights lawsuit filed Monday by attorneys Ed Budge and Erik Heipt on behalf of Dowell’s mother, Suzette Dowell, and stepfather, Robert Dowell, accusing Yates of “outrageous and reprehensible use of deadly force.”

For more from The Seattle Times, click here.

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