Investigations continue into 2 recent fatal police shootings | CORRECTION

On May 20, an Auburn Police officer shot and killed a knife-wielding man who’d fought two officers after a domestic dispute at the Belara Apartment complex in Lakeland Hills.

On May 31, a different Auburn Police officer shot and killed Jesse Sarey, 26, whom the department claimed had resisted arrest and fought the officer outside the Sunshine Grocery at 1402 Auburn Way N.

Investigations into both shootings continue.

Last week, Auburn Police Cmdr. Steve Stocker said that the officer who’d fired the fatal shots in the May 20 incident had been placed on paid administrative leave but now is back at work. The victim, Enosa Strickland Jr., 26, died at the scene, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner.

“The investigation is almost complete,” Stocker said, “and that one is running through Pierce County.”

In the meantime, the Valley Investigative Team is at work on the Sarey shooting, but that case is much further behind than the first one, Stocker said.

“That officer is back to work on administrative duty, until we get more of the investigation done by the Valley Investigative Team,” Stocker said.

In the Sarey shooting, police said they responded to the report of a disorderly man in a tirade, throwing items at vehicles, hitting and kicking walls and other things. Police contacted Sarey just before 6 p.m. in front of the grocery. The officer attempted to arrest Sarey for a crime and he resisted, leading to a physical altercation and the shooting.

A reporter’s error in the Aug. 16 edition of the Auburn Reporter and in the previous online version of this story misidentified the man killed on May 20 as Malik Nettles, 20, of Federal Way. Malik’s death on June 28 was not the result of a police shooting, but of a gunfight involving multiple participants that broke out and ended before Auburn Police arrived on scene.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Mayor Backus’ delivers state-of-the-city address on March 12

Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus will deliver her annual State of the City… Continue reading

Kent, Renton, Burien lead South King County in homicides

Seven in Kent in 2018, according to King County Medical Examiner’s report

Circle of issues

Sen. Das leads town hall discussion with her constituents

More room for city’s airport runway

Extension needed for greater capacity, safety and other enhancements

Entenman bill would help community, technical college students who go hungry

Survey shows 41 percent of students need assistance

After 50-plus years, GSA leaving Auburn

Northwest/Arctic Regional headquarters moving to Tacoma

Aerial view of the Amtrak Cascades train derailment in 2017 near DuPont, Wash. Courtesy Wikipedia
Amtrak, Sound Transit and the state all named in derailment lawsuit

It was filed on behalf of the family of a teenager who was paralyzed in the 2017 crash.

City to vote on overhaul of fireworks ordinance

Proposed changes include penalties for selling or discharging fireworks outside appointed times

Most Read