Student Holding a Pen Fatally Shot By Police Night Before Graduation


According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, the King County Sheriff’s Office received “multiple calls” just before midnight about gunshots in a neighborhood in the city of Burien. When the deputies arrived, they say they found that a homeowner had fired a “warning shot” in response to a man, later identified as Le, approaching him with what he thought was “a knife or some sort of sharp object.” The homeowner said the man had previously been chasing his friend.

The Sheriff’s Office said at the time that the homeowner fled inside, and Le pounded on the door and “stabbed” it with the sharp object, yelling that he was “The Creator.” They also said Le did not comply with deputy orders, did not drop the object, and that tasers “were not effective.”

Deputy Cesar Molina then shot Le three times, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Cindi West later told Seattle Weekly. Le later died of his injuries at a hospital.

Le’s family and community are grappling with questions about his death and the narrative coming from law enforcement.

About a week after the shooting, the sheriff’s office revealed that the “sharp object” in Le’s hand turned out to be a pen.

“I’m so angry,” said his father Sunny Le, “I want to know what happened to my son.”

Descriptions of Le as an aggressive assailant don’t match up with the person his teachers and classmates once knew.

“I could tell you 100 people I would have imagined this happening to before him,” Career Link director and teacher Curt Peterson told the Times. “If we had a discipline file on Tommy it would be completely empty. He was the sweetest kid in the world. He didn’t have an aggressive bone in his body.”

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3212 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Lana

    Either the sheriffs are lying about the whole thing, or the kid tried some new fancy drug for the first time and went nuts. Either way, it’s a sad state this country is in.