King County has launched an inquest into the fatal shooting of James Anderson by police officers inside the Twilight Exit in January.
Anderson, who was armed and had already shot two people, was fatally wounded by an officer responding to emergency calls. Police said Anderson fired at officers before he was shot. No witnesses have publicly disputed this version of events to date.
Anderson’s victims, an ex and the bar’s bouncer, are recovering from their wounds.
Inquests are standard after officer-involved shootings to determine if criminal charges should be pursued. King County said in a release that the filing of this inquest is for fact-finding and “should carry no other implication.”
Here’s the full press release:
King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the fatal police shooting of James Anderson at a Central Area nightclub on January 27, 2013.
Police say the 32-year old man shot and wounded two people at the Twilight Exit at 2514 East Cherry St. When officers arrived and identified themselves, police say Anderson fired at them and one officer returned fire, killing Anderson.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the Seattle Police Department, which conducted the investigation.
Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing Executive Order they are routinely called to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while in the performance of his or her duties.
Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication. Inquest jurors answer a series of interrogatories to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case, and it is not their purpose to determine whether any person or agency is civilly or criminally liable.
The order signed by the Executive requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Corinna Harn to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.
The ordering of inquests is a function vested in the county executive under the King County Code.