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Community responds to shooting

A 17-year-old was airlifted to Harborview Regional Medical Center after being shot by Arlington police on Feb. 14


A 17-year-old woman was shot in downtown Arlington on the morning of Feb. 14 in a shooting involving two officers of the Arlington Police Department.

The woman was airlifted to Harborview Regional Medical Center and is reported to be in serious condition as of press time.

"At about 5 a.m. at the 500 block of N. Olympic Avenue there was a disturbance between a male and a female," said Aaron Snell, a public information officer with the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team and an Everett police officer.

"Officers arrived on the scene shortly after," he said. The woman ran to a nearby car after officers arrived on the scene.

According to witness statements, she exited the car after police contacted her and advanced on the two officers.

The Arlington officers attempted to use a Taser but were unsuccessful. Shortly after that the officers contacted dispatch and reported the woman had a knife, and that shots were fired and aid was required.

A knife was later recovered at the scene.

"It's not clear yet what the conversation between the female and the officers was before she was shot," said Snell.

Both Arlington police officers involved fired their weapons, according to Snell. One was a 12-year veteran of the department and the other was a two-year veteran.

Both have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, said Snell.

The initial disturbance has been determined to be between the woman and her boyfriend. A physical fight between the two occurred before the 911 call, according to the Everett Police Department.

"These incidents are difficult for all in our community. And during these difficult times it is important for us to support one another other. We encourage you to keep all involved in your thoughts," wrote Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert in a statement.

Several people came out during the afternoon of Feb. 14 to raise awareness of the shooting.

Jeremy Osgood said he came out because the Arlington Police Department shot a 17-year-old and there should have been better ways to handle the situation.

Community member Lisa Marie Beltjens said that the situation "didn't warrant lethal force."

"She probably did not follow the correct protocol when dealing with a police officer, but it did not need lethal action at all," said Osgood.

Tolbert wrote that local officers are equipped with tactics to de-escalate a situation.

"Our Arlington Police Officers put their lives at risk every day to protect and serve the community and they are trained in de-escalation tactics, including the use of Tasers," she wrote.

Later on the night of Feb. 14 and on the following day a second group of people came out to Olympic Avenue show their support for the officers involved.

"We want to show the community and the police officers that we are here for them," said local Amanda Aldrich, "to show them that they are loved and we care."

"We just came out to show that we support our officers, and that regardless of what happens they protect us everyday so that's why we're here," said local Christie Kroeze.

The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, a team of detectives from various Snohomish County law enforcement agencies, is investigating the shooting.

Witnesses and the officers involved will be interviewed or have already been interviewed, according to Snell.

Tolbert wrote that city officials will continue to keep the public informed about the incident.

"We take these incidents very seriously and will continue to share updates as they become available," she wrote.


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