Community mourns as memorial for slain Bothell officer continues to grow
It began with a single Bothell police vehicle, when a handful of flowers were placed at its base Tuesday morning to honor slain officer Jonathan Shoop. By the evening, the makeshift memorial had tripled in size.
With a steady stream of families, community members, and more visiting to pay their respects, the vehicle has been adorned with dozens of bouquets, messages on signs, and balloons, sheltered under a large white awning.
Bothell business owner Tracey Weller is one of many who brought a bouquet to the police car.
“The Bothell community police have been so good with us, and we felt that they really serve the community and work well with us and keep us safe, … it was just heartbreaking,” she said.
Bothell High School teacher John Messner and his wife Mary Messner brought their kids to the memorial. John said while death and grief may be tough concepts for kids, he wants them to know being part of a community means sharing both the highs and the lows together.
“They’ve experienced some of the great joys, whether some of the Bothell football games, or parades, or just being downtown in this great community,” he said. “So when we experience a loss, I want them to also see what that’s like, too.”
Bothell resident Rich Choi was also at the memorial with his children to teach them about an officer who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“At the end of the day, we’re all human, and I just wanted to make sure that they see that [officers] do sacrifice every single day for us,” he said.
Shoop was killed Monday night, after a chase that began when he and another officer attempted to pull over a black sedan on SR 522.
The driver of the sedan refused to stop, hitting a pedestrian, and running into the center median. The suspect then exited the car, fired their gun, and ran on foot away from the scene. Both officers were shot, with Shoop dying at the scene from his wounds. The suspect was apprehended early Tuesday.
Shoop had been with the department for a little over a year. Before that, he served in the United States Coast Guard.
He is survived by his fiance, his mother, and two brothers.
“Jonathan was a dedicated officer who served the City of Bothell with professionalism and compassion,” the Bothell Police Department detailed in a written statement. “Jonathan was well liked amongst his peers and throughout the community. Officer Jonathan Shoop will be dearly missed.”
This is the first time Bothell has ever lost an officer in the line of duty.
Public Information Officer Mike Johnson said the memorial is a grassroots, organic event, and the car will be left so people can have space to grieve.
“The loss of an officer is a loss to the whole community,” Johnson said. “… We’re trying to give [the community] the proper space to work through their grief. This community is so supportive, we’re very blessed to serve here.”