KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson isn’t sure how to feel about the Seattle Police Department’s pursuit of a suspected armed carjacker in West Seattle that left two people dead. What he does know is that watching the dashcam video made him feel sick and that the public deserves answers.
“This is a tragic story and it does raise significant questions about whether the police should have continued this pursuit on a windy road at 2 o’clock in the morning,” he said.
An SPD officer was involved in a high-speed pursuit just after 2 a.m. Thursday morning in West Seattle that involved a suspect possibly involved in an armed carjacking. The officer received word that the King County Guardian helicopter was unavailable and the officer stayed in pursuit. The 16-year-old male driver of a stolen Honda Accord ultimately appeared to cross over the center line and struck another vehicle driven by a 21-year-old with a dog inside. Both men and the animal died from the collision.
Dori, whose youngest child is 21 years old, says this story “breaks his heart” and that watching the dashcam video made him physically ill.
“I was about one minute 30 seconds in and I was just getting this sick, sick feeling in my stomach knowing that somebody my daughter’s age was about to be killed innocently because of this police pursuit,” he said.
Dori’s producer, Jake Skorheim felt similarly ill.
“I’m at the minute mark and I’m thinking: two people are about to die in 40 seconds and they have no idea that it’s about to happen, but life for everyone they know is about to change forever,” he said. “… I think there’s a point where you’ve got to say, ‘Listen, there’s no way that that Accord is stable at that speed.’ It’s not like these are straightaways. These are hairy turns. You’ve just got to slow down and say this is not something that’s going to end well.”
Dori says the speed of the suspect’s vehicle made it appear as if the crash “was the inevitable outcome” and that, while it’s a hard decision to let a potentially armed suspect free, it might have been the correct choice. While Dori says he “wants answers from the police” and hopes for transparency throughout the internal investigation, he says ultimately, the blame falls on the suspect.
“The 16-year-old who died, he asked for it,” he said. “He brought that on himself. The 21-yar-old who died, was just somebody’s kid who was driving around innocently and his life was wiped out in a moment. He probably just saw a flash; barely even knew it was coming.”