Aberdeen, WA – The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office has released a Grays Harbor Communications audio recording related to the officer-involved-shooting that took place Monday, September 9 in Aberdeen and resulted in the death of Kristopher Fitzpatrick.
The Sheriff’s Office says “The recording supports the initial reports by Aberdeen Police that the suspect was armed and had been warned by officers to drop his weapon.”
The Aberdeen Police Department reported that Fitzpatrick was armed when he encountered local officers who were attempting to arrest the man for outstanding felony warrants, refusing to drop a handgun and stating he’s “not going back to jail”.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, a gun was recovered near the suspect as a part of the evidence gathered by investigators.
They say that the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigations Team (CIIT) released the audio to provide the public with more information and to address incorrect assumptions made in social and media reports based on incomplete review of surveillance video.
“Investigators hope to release additional video footage later this week which will also help clarify the details of the incident.”
The Sheriff’s Office says that in the three-minute audio recording, police dispatchers and the responding officers are heard discussing the suspect, his location, and that he had reached into his pocket.
This is the explanation of the audio that was released to KXRO by the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office:
Note from APD: There are two different female voices on the recording and both are dispatchers.
Note from APD: Officers request 2nd units to assist when suspects are being uncooperative or combative during the contact. 2nd units often help calm the situation down or can assist in taking a combative person into custody.
Note from APD: This is an Officer Safety concern. Officers are worried about suspect(s) pulling weapons (gun, knife) out of their pockets and assaulting the Officer with the weapon
The full recording released by the Sheriff’s Office can be found below.
The investigation of the shooting is being conducted independently of the Aberdeen Police Department by the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team (CIIT).
The CIIT is comprised of detectives from Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston County Sheriff’s Offices with assistance by the Washington State Patrol.
The independent investigation process is required by Washington State law whenever there is use of deadly force by police.
The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and the Region 3 CIIT encourages anyone with first-hand knowledge of the incident to contact Detective Paul Logan at the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office at 360-964-1729.