None of the shots fired by a man armed with a rifle hit Kent Police vehicles that three officers used a shields before returning fire and killing the man.
A couple of shots did come within a few feet of officers, according to new information released Dec. 2 by the Valley Independent Investigative Team. Nine officers responded to the incident and three returned fire.
Darren A. Butrick, 60, stood near the front door of his home when he fired at officers on Nov. 4 in the 13000 block of Southeast 204th Place after police responded to a domestic violence call, according to the Valley Independent Investigative Team.
“The three officers that fired their weapons were located nearest the residence and behind their patrol cars approximately 70 to 83 feet away,” according to a statement from the investigative team. “The rounds fired by Mr. Butrick that were recovered struck a pickup truck tire, a flag, a sign and a vehicle trunk lid parked in a nearby residence driveway. No rounds struck police vehicles. At this time it appears from the trajectories that rounds came within a few feet of several officers.”
Detectives also located two spent shell casings lodged in a police vehicle crevice that were not initially counted, according to a Nov. 25 press release from the investigative team. That brings the number of shots fired by the officers to 24 in response to the seven shots fired by Butrick. The exchange of gunfire took less than seven seconds.
Butrick died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was found dead inside the front door. Butrick lived at the home with his wife and other relatives. No other individuals were hurt and no officers were injured as a result of the shooting.
A autopsy report remains pending and will confirm how many shots struck Butrick.
Officers learned upon arriving at the incident that a man was armed with a rifle inside the home. They took positions outside and were able to get the other occupants from within the residence out safely. While officers waited for the SWAT team to respond, Butrick reportedly fired multiple shots at officers. The officers returned fire and Butrick was struck and killed.
The three officers who fired shots include a 38-year-old officer with 10 years of experience, a 31-year-old officer with six years of experience, and a 29-year-old officer who has been with the department since 2019. Their names have not been released. They remain on administrative leave, as is standard procedure for any officer-involved shooting.
The Valley Independent Investigative Team, a multi-agency team of investigators from seven South King County police departments (Auburn, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Port of Seattle and Tukwila), is conducting the inquiry. The Kent Police Department is excluded from this investigation because they were the involved agency.
The investigative team is in contact with the family of Butrick and will keep them informed of the progress of the investigation.
Additional details regarding this incident will be released weekly to the media by the Valley Independent Investigative Team as the investigation continues. The updates are required by a new state law during police shooting investigations.