Investigation into fatal shooting finds man fired at Federal Way police first

23-year-old Malik Williams was fatally shot after he opened fire in an apartment complex parking lot, injuring two of the seven responding officers on Dec. 31, 2019.

New information surrounding the officer-involved shooting in Federal Way, which resulted in the death of a 23-year-old man and injured two officers in December 2019, was released today.

Preliminary information from an independent investigation, conducted by the Valley Independent Investigations Team (VIIT), concludes 23-year-old Malik Williams was the first to shoot at Federal Way officers during a fatal shootout on Dec. 31, 2019.

VIIT is a multi-agency team made up of investigators from seven south King County Police Departments, wrote Cmdr. David Leibman, of Renton, in a press release on Feb. 3.

The VIIT participating police agencies include Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Tukwila and Port of Seattle.

On Dec. 30, 2019 at 11:58 p.m., a caller reported the sounds of a woman yelling outside in a parking lot in the 30800 block of 14th Ave South in Federal Way.

The caller also reported hearing sounds of a man’s voice and the sound of a bang, all associated with a car in the apartment complex parking lot.

The first Federal Way police officers arrived on scene around 12:17 a.m. Minutes later, officers radioed that they had a person at gunpoint, the release states.

“Additional Federal Way police officers drove to the scene and a short time later the officers radioed that shots had been fired, and that two officers were wounded,” the release states.

Officers returned gunfire toward a man in the car, later identified as 23-year-old Malik T. E. Williams. Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide in the days following the incident.

Evidence, video footage and witness statements indicate that the Federal Way officers contacted Williams, who was seated in the front passenger seat of the same car described by the initial caller, the release continues.

“Williams opened fire, striking two of the seven officers who had responded. The officers returned fire, mortally wounding Williams.”

One on-scene witness said they heard the officers yell “drop the gun” several times before hearing gunfire, the release states.

Investigators recovered a black 9mm handgun from the car and additional evidence has been submitted to the Washington State Patrol crime lab for processing.

During the shooting, one officer suffered a grazing wound to the left triceps and a gunshot to the torso. Only the officer’s ballistic vest prevented a life-threatening injury, which Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang highlighted in a press conference held the afternoon following the Dec. 2019 incident. The other officer suffered a gunshot to his right leg. Both officers were treated and released from hospital.

Investigators later learned that Williams used a wheelchair, the release confirmed.

“At the time of the incident, the chair was secured in the back seat with the wheel removed,” it states. “The windows were tinted and the chair was likely not visible to the officers.”

Seven Federal Way officers were placed on administrative leave as a result of the incident on Dec. 31, 2019. As of Feb. 3, 2020, the two officers who were injured remain on leave, according to Cmdr. Kurt Schwan of FWPD.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Detective Gendreau at (206) 878-3301.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Gov. Jay Inslee is pictured March 28 at a field hospital set up at the CenturyLink Field Event Center to address non-COVID-19 medical needs. (Photo courtesy of Jay Inslee’s Twitter feed)
Gov. Inslee warns of stepped-up ‘stay home’ enforcement

“Thousands of calls” from residents concerned about businesses and people not following restrictions.

6 deaths so far in Kent, 4 in Renton, 3 in Auburn from COVID-19

Latest King County results from Public Health—Seattle & King County

Members of Puget Sound Fire who will be staffed at the first responder testing site in Covington received additional training last week. Photo courtesy of Capt. Joe Root
COVID-19 testing site for first responders to open in Covington this week

Testing is by appointment only and not open to the general public.

Property tax deadline extended to June

This only affects those who pay their property taxes themselves.

A 3-year-old boy suffered serious injuries as a passenger in this car that crashed early Monday along Interstate 5 in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, State Patrol
3-year-old boy seriously injured in Kent crash

Single-car wreck along Interstate 5 early Monday morning

The 2020 census form will look very similar to this sample document. Image courtesy U.S. Census Bureau
Don’t forget to take the census

Due to the coronavirus, the deadline for responding to the census is Aug. 14, 2020.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows COVID-19, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Latest numbers: Washington COVID-19 outbreak by county

With links to official information.

City of Kent loses third attempt to halt King County quarantine facility

Judge rules city permits not needed for emergency use of former motel, but will be for future plans

Federal Way mayor implements emergency relief measures to combat economic impacts of COVID-19

Mayor places freeze on landlord late fees charged to renters; City also to donate $15,000 to Multi-Service Center food bank.

Most Read