Officer who shot, killed Charleena Lyles testifies in inquest

Jun 30, 2022, 6:45 PM

Officer who shot, killed Charleena Lyles testifies in inquest (KIRO 7)...

Officer who shot, killed Charleena Lyles testifies in inquest (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

For the first time after multiple delays, the family of Charleena Lyles, the pregnant woman who was shot and killed by police in 2017, heard directly from one of the officers who fired.

The officer, Jason Anderson, testified on day six of the police inquest into the death of Lyles.

Anderson answered questions before a jury in the King County Child and Family Justice Center. He believes he fired four of the seven shots that hit and killed the 30-year-old, while claiming he waited until the last possible moment to use lethal force.

“I had drawn my firearm and told Ms. Lyles to get back,” said Anderson.

An emotional outburst came from Lyles’ father, Charles, who took issue with an attorney for one of the officers suggesting that Lyles’ burglary report was just a ruse to get cops to her home, so she could provoke them to shoot and kill her.

“She was not trying to commit suicide,” Charles Lyles said. “I’m tired of them saying that. My daughter was not trying to commit suicide by no police. It’s wrong for you to keep saying that.”

On June 18, 2017, Lyles called 911 asking for help at her north Seattle apartment. Two officers arrived because a caution alert was attached to her name due to a previous incident where she threatened law enforcement. Lyles was fatally shot by both responding officers who reported that she lunged at them with knives.

While Lyles’ family has said she suffered from some mental health issues, they say there is no evidence she planned a suicide by cop situation.

Lyles’ cousin, Katrina Johnson, told KIRO 7 TV that tensions between the family and the officers and their attorneys have been high during the inquest, especially after one of the officers who shot her, Steven McNew, called in SWAT after words were exchanged between he and Charles Lyles last week.

“You didn’t send out patrol and regular uniform cops,” Johnson said. “You sent out the special weapons and tactics team. So if you are afraid of an elderly man in a wheelchair, that lets me know that my five-foot-three, 100-pound cousin didn’t have a fighting chance.”

Ted Buck, one of the attorneys for McNew and Anderson, says SWAT response is normal if there’s been a verbal threat.

“I think there’s an implication like the SWAT team rolled up in a Bearcat and they had all their tactical gear on or something. That’s not what happened,” Buck said. “If an officer needs, for example, an escort to or from a highly-charged event like this, that’s usually handled by the SWAT team.”

The inquest hearing is scheduled to continue through July 6.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Irs debt ceiling...

Dave Ross

Ross: IRS has new no-pursuit policy with debt ceiling deal

This debt ceiling deal means the IRS will have to adopt a no-pursuit policy. It means the highway is clear, and all the lights are green.

20 hours ago

book ban...

Dave Ross

Ross: Can anybody really ban a book?

For all the talk about a book ban, Dave Ross explains why he's never had any trouble getting any book he wants.

2 days ago

baby branding...

Dave Ross

Ross: Maybe more Americans should consider baby branding

According to Bloomberg, some anxious American and European parents have been hiring branding consultants to name their baby.

6 days ago

ross graffiti...

Dave Ross

Ross: This level of graffiti is like defacing the Great Pyramid

Dave Ross: Graffiti on the highways is bad enough, and to have it center stage at the city’s front door is taking tolerance too far.

7 days ago

low income housing homelessness...

Dave Ross

Ross: New Seattle low-income housing costs over $134M to address homelessness

If you’re wondering where you can find that low-income housing in Seattle we keep hearing about – I can give you the address. 

8 days ago

stop debt crisis...

Dave Ross

Ross: Nobody in D.C. is actually going to stop the debt crisis

I think I’m going to have to accept that the debt crisis is just not as big a deal as all the news coverage is making it out to be.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Officer who shot, killed Charleena Lyles testifies in inquest