Wash. officer fatally shot after pursuit ID'd

Jonathan Shoop, 32, had served with the Bothell Police Department for a year

Duty Death: Jonathan Shoop - [Bothell, Washington]

End of Service: 07/13/2020


By Paige Cornwell
The Seattle Times

BOTHELL, Wash. — Jonathan Shoop had many roles after graduating from the University of Washington — he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, worked with Washington State Ferries and managed teams at Amazon. But throughout his career, Shoop always wanted to be a police officer.  

He reached that goal last June, as one of 12 police officers hired by the Bothell Police Department in 2019.

Officer Jonathan Shoop was fatally shot after a pursuit in a Seattle suburb July 13, 2020. (Photo/Bothell Police Department)
Officer Jonathan Shoop was fatally shot after a pursuit in a Seattle suburb July 13, 2020. (Photo/Bothell Police Department)

“He wore a few hats, but he always wanted to be a police officer,” his brother Evan Shoop said. “He wanted to do the service thing while he had a chance. He was always drawn to it.”

Shoop, 32, was killed in a shooting in downtown Bothell on Monday night after a traffic stop turned into a brief car chase that ended with gunfire.

Shoop died at the scene. He is survived by his longtime partner, his mother and two brothers, according to his family and the Bothell Police Department.

He “had a lot of career left in front of him,” Bothell police Capt. Mike Johnson said early Tuesday, before Shoop was publicly identified.

The shooting occurred amid a violent night in the Seattle area, with at least nine people shot in three separate incidents in Bothell, Renton and Kent, and during a time of fierce public debate and protest over the role of policing in local communities.

Shoop and another officer were shot after they tried to stop a car on Bothell Way Northeast around 9:40 p.m., said Everett police spokesperson Aaron Snell, who answered questions with Johnson at a news conference early Tuesday.

The driver led police on a short car chase before he apparently struck a pedestrian in the 10300 block of Woodinville Drive. At the end of the chase, “gunfire was exchanged,” and at least one officer fired at the suspect, police said.

After a search that stretched into the early hours of Tuesday morning, Bothell police said a suspect was taken into custody at about 3:20 a.m., after he was found hiding on a rooftop. No further information about the suspect, who was booked in the King County Jail, was released Tuesday.

The officer who was injured was released Tuesday from Harborview Medical Center, and has not been publicly identified. The pedestrian, who was also taken to Harborview, was still hospitalized and in satisfactory condition as of Tuesday morning.

The shooting occurred on a winding stretch of road just a few blocks southwest of the police station and City Hall, where Tuesday a growing memorial for the fallen officer was located. A Bothell police cruiser, parked on the plaza. by afternoon was up to its fenders in flowers, flags and thank yous. A number of people wrote condolences and messages of support to police in colored chalk on the sidewalk.

Shoop was remembered as a “local kid through and through” who enjoyed hiking and seeing his nieces and nephews. He grew up in Seattle as the youngest of three brothers and attended Ballard High School before studying history at the University of Washington, according to his brother Evan Shoop. 

He was living in Bothell and had a longtime partner he adored, Evan Shoop said, adding that he considers her part of his family.

“He was always available for people, and just always wanted to do the right thing,” Evan Shoop said. “It’s just so tough. We’re just missing our baby brother.”

Shoop’s death was the first time Bothell’s police department had an officer killed in the line of duty “in anyone’s memory,” Johnson said.

In October 2018, a Bothell police officer was injured when a man suspected of driving drunk rammed his vehicle into the officer’s patrol car. That officer had non-life-threatening injuries.

“This is uncharted territory for us,” Johnson said. “This is going to be a rough couple of days for our organization.”

Bothell employs 57 police officers, according to its 2019-20 budget.

The investigation into the shooting will be turned over to the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART), Johnson said.

Bothell officials said news of Monday night’s shooting has been difficult for residents in the city of about 45,000. Located northeast of Seattle, Bothell straddles King and Snohomish counties and has a violent-crime rate similar to or lower than its Puget Sound counterparts.

“This is a horrific event,” City Manager Jennifer Phillips said Tuesday afternoon. “You have to pause and really comprehend that this is happening in our community. It’s truly a shock and it’s devastating. Our hearts are broken.”

Phillips said the department has faced challenges recently, first from the coronavirus pandemic and then as protests brought out thousands across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died when a white police officer held his knee against Floyd’s neck. In early June, Bothell police officers joined protesters during demonstrations, handing out water and holding signs that read “silence is acceptance.”

“We are very proud of the police department,” Phillips said. “They serve with respect and dignity and just an incredible sense of service to our community. We grieve with them. We will travel through this emotional journey with them.”

Mayor Liam Olsen said in a statement that the city’s focus is on supporting Shoop’s family and providing the Police Department with counseling, mental-health resources and peer support.

The news of the officer’s death also drew condolences from public officials. Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that he and his wife, Trudi, “join Washingtonians in mourning the loss of one of Bothell’s finest… I send the deepest condolences to the family and friends of this public servant who was killed while serving the community.”

Bothell City Councilmember Mason Thompson tweeted that he was “heartbroken about what’s happening in Bothell tonight.”

Supportive signs and makeshift memorials have sprung up around town. Just outside the front door to the police station, someone left a flat, palm-sized rock, painted sky-blue and decorated with a navy and white “thin blue line” American flag and a row of hearts. “We love our Bothell Police” was lettered in white along the top.  

Near the police cruiser, Bothell resident Jeff Kerr, with his little dog Elvis, had a catch in his voice when he explained why he had come to pay his respects.

“This is my community, and these police officers have protected it for the 60 years I’ve been here,” Kerr said. “I’m sad this happened in my community.”

A tall man with shoulder-length dark hair, his features mostly hidden by sunglasses, a ball cap and a protective face mask, stood slightly back from the memorial in the shade of a small tree, a bunch of flowers cradled in one arm. He said his name was Ed, and he’d traveled from Lynnwood to place the bouquet.

“I guess I’m here out of respect,” he said. “With what is going on right now, I just wanted to come by to remind us that we’re all human, and that in the end we all end up in the same place.”

Seattle Times reporter Christine Clarridge and researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.

©2020 The Seattle Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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