On June 14, 2018, Redmond police officers were involved in a shooting that led to the death of Marcelo Castellano. Officers were attempting to arrest Castellano for several felonies. They contacted him while he was sitting in his vehicle. He refused to exit the vehicle and retrieved a gun, which he pointed at the officers.
Officers discharged several rounds at Castellano, striking him. The officers administered life-saving efforts, but Castellano died as a result of his injuries.
An outside agency arrived on the scene and investigated the incident. The agency conducted a full and independent investigation, aided by security camera footage and detailed statements by on-scene officers and eyewitnesses. Their report concluded that the force used against Castellano was reasonable and necessary, and consistent with Washington law.
Last week, King County held an inquest into the circumstances of the 2018 death of Castellano in which the jury erroneously concluded the involved officers did not follow the department’s use of force directives. Due to the limited evidence currently allowed, the inquest administrator did not make any of the independent investigation’s conclusions nor the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office's detailed analysis available to the inquest jury.
As a result, the inquest’s conclusions are at odds with the independent investigation’s findings prepared after this incident and are inconsistent with the recently issued King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Public Integrity Team’s comprehensive report that concluded, “given that Castellano displayed a firearm at the officers, it was reasonable for the officers to believe there was an imminent danger that Castellano intended to commit a felony, to inflict death or to inflict great personal injury.”
“I respect that all the jurors worked hard to examine the limited evidence before them and issued a finding about this serious incident,” said Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe. “However, the current rules governing inquests inappropriately limit the information provided to the jury. As a direct result, several of the jury’s findings were inconsistent and at odds with the undisputed facts and the law.”
The former Redmond officer involved in this incident and all officers on the scene complied with the 2018 Redmond Police Department’s policy manual and the training given to those officers about when and how to use force.
Jill Green, Public Information Officer