Police Chief says time needed to investigate shooting of machete wielding man

By Jack Mayne

The public was asked to be patient while the shooting of a machete wielding man by a Kent Police officer is thoroughly investigated by a multi-agency task force.

Investigation of this type of situation and those involved in multiple agencies “become complex,” Police Chief George Delgado told the Des Moines City Council Thursday night (March 23).

Delgado said the information has been released to media but “social media will have its own variations but what I would ask the community, anybody watching (the Council meeting) is to allow the investigation, very sensitive investigation, to run its course and to recognize that these types of situations, despite the training officers receive are impacted, all of us, from those in charge, to those on the street – we are all impacted by it.

“We will do it again tonight if duty calls, but it carries with it some responsibility and accountability,” Delgado said.

“The reason I am here tonight is because this community deserves to be kept up to date and given the correct information … we will come forth with all the information as it becomes available.”

Refused to drop machete
Delgado said the shooting of a man armed with a machete happened when he refused to drop the weapon, and at some point a Kent Police officer shot and killed him.

“It is not known what specific actions or actions made by the subject caused the Kent officer to discharge a firearm,” Delgado said. “In this kind of incident, that is not unusual.”

The matter is being investigated by the Valley Investigations Team, a taskforce comprised of detectives, supervisors and command staff from numerous agencies in the South King County area.

“This taskforce is comprised of a group of highly skilled investigators who have been trained to handle this type of investigation,” Delgado said.

Because the investigation is in process, the chief said many things are still unknown and may not be for “quite some time.” All of the officers from the three cities involved in the incident will be “closely interviewed,” the chief said, and the public informed when the investigation is finished, maybe many weeks or even months from now.

Delgado said people on both sides of the matter, the police and the individuals involved, are affected so the investigators need the time to do a thorough job.

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