Forum to focus on deadly shooting of Burien man by King County deputy

Tommy Le, 20, was fatally shot June 13 after King County deputies responded to reports of a man armed with a knife threatening residents of a Burien neighborhood. After the shooting, deputies found Le had been carrying a pen.

Family and friends of a 20-year-old man fatally shot by a King County sheriff’s deputy will seek answers from Sheriff John Urquhart during a public forum Wednesday at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service.

The public is invited to the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. forum at the referral service’s offices at 3639 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. in Seattle. The forum, which will be in English and Vietnamese, will start with family members talking about Tommy Le and will then be opened up to questions for officials and community leaders.

Urquhart, Deborah Jacobs, director of the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, and King County Executive Dow Constantine are scheduled to attend the forum to answer questions as well as listen to concerns about the June 13 shooting.

Around midnight, three deputies were summoned by several 911 calls about a man with a sharp object, possibly a knife, threatening people in the 13600 block of Third Avenue South in Burien. One homeowner fired his handgun into the ground hoping to scare off the man, who was later identified as Le.

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The homeowner fled into his house as Le stabbed at the door screaming he was “the Creator,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. When deputies confronted Le, he refused to drop what deputies thought was a knife. Two deputies fired their Tasers, but the one that hit him had no effect.

When Le approached the deputies, Deputy Cesar Molina shot him three times, said spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. He later died at Harborview Medical Center.

The sheriff’s office later said Le had been holding a pen.

Le would have graduated from Career Link, an alternative high-school completion program at South Seattle College, the next day.

Students and faculty at Career Link described Le as a “bubbly kid” and a “goofy little guy.” Curt Peterson, Career Link director and one of Le’s teachers, called him “the sweetest kid in the world.”

But West said Le may have taken drugs, based on his behavior and a statement from one of his friends

Toxicology reports are pending from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Le’s family will ask what actions could have been used after the…

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