A Kent Police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old Auburn man who reportedly tried to use his vehicle to run over an officer after a short pursuit.
Giovonn Joseph-McDade died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to a Tuesday report from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. McDade played football at Kent-Meridian High School as a sophomore in 2012 and junior in 2013, according to MaxPreps.com. He also competed in track and field at Mill Creek Middle School and Kent-Meridian, according to Athletic.net.
At about 12:15 a.m. last Saturday, a Kent Police officer attempted to make a traffic stop in the 25400 block of 104th Avenue Southeast near Applebee’s restaurant for an alleged traffic offense, according to a Des Moines Police media release on Monday evening. The release didn’t specify the traffic offense.
McDade, the driver of the suspect vehicle, reportedly failed to stop and a pursuit began northbound on 104th Avenue Southeast, turning the case into a felony eluding an officer. An officer attempted a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) with his patrol vehicle to try to turn the car sideways and end the chase, but the suspect vehicle kept going. McDade headed west on Southeast 244th Street.
The vehicle turned down a dead end road at 99th Avenue South and South 244th Street near Canterbury Park. McDade allegedly then used his vehicle as a weapon in attempt to ram one of the officers, and an officer fired his gun at the vehicle in an attempt to stop the threat.
The suspect vehicle rolled to a stop, and officers discovered McDade had been struck by bullets. The officers summoned aid and immediately began administering first aid but McDade died at the scene.
Two officers – in separate vehicles – pursued McDade’s vehicle, said Des Moines Police Assistant Chief Bob Bohl in a phone interview.
“At this point, we know one officer was outside of his vehicle and it was one officer that shot,” Bohl said.
There also was a passenger, Devonte Cheeks, in McDade’s vehicle. A few people have posted on websites or contacted media sources to claim McDade was a passenger and Cheeks the driver.
“Cheeks was not driving the car,” Bohl said. “He was a passenger.”
After the incident, Cheeks was booked into the SCORE jail in Des Moines for failure to appear on criminal trespass, theft and assault charges in Tukwila and Seattle, according to jail records.
Bohl said police have a video from a home surveillance camera near the shooting, but no information about what’s on the video would be released until statements from the two officers are received. He expects to get those statements by the end of this week.
Both Kent officers involved in the incident are on paid administrative leave per standard protocol. As per policy, Kent Police have not released the names and ages of the officers or how many years they have worked for the force.
The Des Moines Police Department, part of the Valley Investigative Team, is investigating the shooting. Investigators are interviewing witnesses and will talk to the involved officers to get all the facts leading up to the use of the deadly force, according to the press release.
“This is still a very active investigation and we have limited information at this time as we sort through everything to determine what actually happened,” Bohl said. “As the investigation progresses we will be able to release additional factual information.”
McDade was booked on Jan. 18 in the King County jail on multiple charges, according to jail records. The charges included violation of the uniform controlled substances act; failure to appear in Kent Municipal Court for driving under the influence; and failure to appear in Kent Municipal Court for violations of a no-contact order. McDade was released on Jan. 21 from the county jail for transfer to the city of Kent jail.
McDade studied at Green River College, according to his Facebook page.
Family and friends set up a memorial of McDade with photos, flowers and balloons near the site of the incident.
“He was a great kid at K-M who played football and ran track for us for a couple years,” Kent-Meridian Principal Wade Barringer said in an email. “Always smiling, polite and respectful with no discipline (problems) or issues while at K-M. He was an all-around nice kid who made good choices and made K-M a better place.”
McDade withdrew from K-M in February 2015 to attend iGrad, an alternative school in Kent, Barringer said. He was one English credit short of graduating but had enrolled this past spring at iGrad to finish.
McDade is the third man shot and killed by Kent Police in the last eight months. The previous two were:
• March 23: William Stokes, 51, was shot and killed by a Kent Police officer outside of a Des Moines home. Kent Police assisted on the call. Stokes reportedly was armed with a machete and had a hostage inside. Stokes refused commands to put down the machete. The officer felt threatened at one point, fired his gun and killed Stokes. The case remains under investigation by the Valley Investigative Team.
• Oct. 16: Patrick Reddeck, 38, was fatally shot in his home after two Kent Police detectives and an officer arrived to execute a search warrant. The police officers told Auburn Police investigators that Reddeck displayed a gun. King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered an inquest in May into the fatal shooting. The inquest is set for Oct. 23 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury.