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County orders inquest in death of Pinewood Village gunman

The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. April 21 at the Pinewood Village Apartments, 33306 17th Lane S. (near South 333rd Street and Pacific Highway South). - Mirror file photo
The shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. April 21 at the Pinewood Village Apartments, 33306 17th Lane S. (near South 333rd Street and Pacific Highway South).
— image credit: Mirror file photo

Mirror staff reports:

King County Executive Dow Constantine has ordered an inquest into the fatal shooting of Dennis Clark III by Federal Way police.

An inquest is a public hearing of case facts, typically ordered in response to a death at the hands of law enforcement.

In one of the deadliest incidents in Federal Way history, Clark fatally shot his girlfriend in the head on April 21, then killed three more people at the Pinewood Village Apartments, located near South 333rd Street and Pacific Highway South.

Federal Way police encountered and shot Clark, 27, in a stairwell. Clark retreated on foot, and according to police, had ignored commands to stop reaching for a handgun on the ground. That's when eight officers opened fire and shot Clark dead.

The eight police officers were cleared to return to work almost three weeks after they brought down the gunman.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recommended the inquest after his office reviewed materials from the Valley Investigative Team. An inquest is neither a civil nor a criminal trial. A six-member inquest jury does not determine guilt or innocence. It is up to the King County Prosecutor's Office to pursue the case further after considering the jury's findings on whether the shooting victim posed an imminent threat.

King County District Court Presiding Judge Corinna Harn will assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.

 

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