Family and friends of a man fatally shot by Lakewood police joined activists Thursday night to protest his death and honor his life.
About 100 people gathered at the Police Department headquarters on Lakewood Drive Southwest and left flowers, candles and signs at the door.
Two officers shot and killed Daniel Covarrubias, 37, Tuesday at a Lakewood lumberyard after they responded to reports of a suspicious person in the area. The officers radioed they fired when he appeared to reach for something in his pocket.
Police haven’t said whether he was armed.
Covarrubias’ family has said they think he was walking home from St. Clare Hospital when he was shot, and he had been suffering hallucinations hours before.
“He was a good person,” his mother, Marilyn Covarrubias, said at Thursday’s vigil. “He didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
The Police Department has not yet released the officers’ names, or further details about the investigation. That will happen after investigators interview the policemen, the department said.
The officers, 39 and 48, are on paid administrative leave, per procedure.
Thursday’s vigil was organized by the Tacoma Action Collective, a grass-roots group that has been bringing attention locally to police shootings across the country.
Many of Covarrubias’ immediate and extended family attended.
“We wanted to keep it peaceful, because that’s the kind of person Daniel was,” said his sister, Lana Covarrubias. “He was a peaceful, humble person.”
Karen Trevino remembered her nephew as the family handyman who joined his dad to help whenever she needed something fixed.
“They came when anyone in the family needed help,” she said. “He has a good heart.”
Among those who spoke to the crowd was one of Covarrubias’ seven children.
“I was very hurt and very damaged by what happened,” said son Elijah Covarrubias, 19. “We are all ready to take a stand.”
Some speakers at the vigil called for a civilian review board to oversee police conduct. Others sought legislation that would require police to be better trained to help people suffering from addiction, among other issues.
“We want an indictment,” the crowd chanted at one point.
Some held signs with Covarrubias’ photo; others said, “Justice for Daniel.”
Jamika Scott, with the Tacoma Action Collective, told the crowd it was time to keep investigators “on their toes,” and that a fair, timely and transparent investigation was needed.
“I reach in my pocket all the time,” Scott said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to pull out a gun or a knife.”
After the vigil, the crowd started marching toward City Hall, chanting: “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”