Detectives finish investigation into 2023 fatal shooting by Kent Police

Report forwarded to prosecutors for review of officer shooting Renton man, 24

The Valley Independent Investigative Team on Feb. 29 turned over its report, about a fatal shooting in October 2023 by a Kent Police officer, to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

A Kent officer shot Eduar Velasquez, 24, of Renton, after Velasquez allegedly came after the officer with a large knife in his hand following a short foot pursuit on Oct. 24, 2023 on the West Hill, according to a media release about the shooting from the Valley Independent Investigative Team. The officer fired six shots at Velasquez.

Velasquez died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The officer is a 27-year-old man who has been employed by the Kent Police Department since 2022 and has been a certified officer since 2017, according to the report. The report did not release the name of the officer.

Prior to being fatally shot, Velasquez was filling up a gas can at a Chevron station with another man when he fled on foot. Officers, in response to a stolen vehicle call, approached the men about the incident. Officers took the other man into custody without incident.

Officers pursued Velasquez in the area of South 272nd Street and Military Road South, according to police. Shortly thereafter, shots were fired by the officer in the 27000 block of 33rd Place South. Aid was provided, but Velasquez died at the scene.

Police initially responded to a 12:15 p.m. call about a suspicious vehicle, which Kent officers discovered was reported stolen. Investigators recovered the F-250 Ford diesel truck and a can filled with diesel the men were filling up at the gas station.

The officer was the only one to fire his weapon, according to the report. The report did not list how many officers were chasing the man.

The Valley Independent Investigative Team includes detectives from the Port of Seattle, Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton and Tukwila police departments. As the involved agency, Kent investigators were excluded from the case.

The team investigated the shooting for about four months and issued weekly media releases, most of them without any new information. A Feb. 29 press release said the investigation had been completed and forwarded to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

“The next steps are a review, analysis, and either charge a crime or refer to inquest,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Casey McNerthney in a March 4 email.

A senior deputy prosecutor from the office’s Special Operations Unit responded to the scene the night of the shooting and a lead detective forwarded at least some of the discover materials to our office, McNerthney said.

“We say at least some because it’s expected to be reviewed relatively soon,” he said.

What happens next, however, could take time.

“The timeline is based on other cases that were referred ahead of this one,” McNerthney said. “There is not a set timeline. The review is expected to be months out, but is expected to be concluded this year.”

There are nine current inquests into police shootings across King County to be scheduled for a hearing as ordered by County Executive Dow Constantine.

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