Fatal shooting of unarmed man by Pierce County deputy ruled justified

Staff writerMarch 18, 2014 

The fatal shooting of an unarmed 28-year-old man last year by a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy was ruled justified by prosecutors Tuesday.

Justin Linn was shot Aug. 22 in Buckley by deputy John Delgado. Linn died twelve days later from pneumonia related to the gunshot.

Detectives were looking for Linn, who they said shot a homeowner during a residential armed robbery July 27. Deputies tried to arrest him twice in August, but were not able to apprehend him. One of those times, he tossed a handgun as he ran, prosecutors said.

They learned he was at a Buckley motel near the 400 block of Main Street. When they arrived there, Linn ran when he spotted the deputies, and did not listen to commands to remove his hands from his waistband, prosecutors said.

Linn turned to face deputies as they caught up with him, and started to pull his hands up from his waistband, at which point Delgado fired four shots at Linn, one of which hit him in the chest, prosecutors said. 

They said Delgado thought Linn was pulling out a weapon.

Linn was not armed, but deputies found a loaded handgun in his motel room.

“This defendant had a violent history and posed a serious danger,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a statement. “The deputy did what was necessary to protect himself and our community.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268




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