A week after two Lakewood police officers fatally shot a man, they have yet to give the department statements, which is stemming the flow of information about the confrontation.
Police Lt. Chris Lawler said Tuesday that the department will not discuss the April 21 shooting death of 37-year-old Daniel Covarrubias until the involved officers give their statements.
It’s unclear when investigators will interview the officers, who the department has declined to identify.
The veteran officers — one is 39 and the other is 48 — are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting. Both joined the Police Department when it formed in 2004.
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A Tacoma grass-roots group that has been bringing attention to police shootings across the country has called on the department to conduct a“timely and transparent” investigation into Covarrubias’ death.
The group, Tacoma Action Collective, will gather at 7 p.m. Thursday outside the Police Department at 9401 Lakewood Drive SW.
The gathering will be “to honor the life of a fellow community member and demand the investigation into his death be timely and transparent,” according to the group’s Facebook page.
The group held a similar event last week, and about 100 activists and family members of Covarrubias gathered outside the police station.
Covarrubias was killed after employees at the Pinnacle Lumber & Plywood called 911 to report a man had climbed the fence into their property. Officers found Covarrubias hiding atop a 25-foot-tall stack of lumber.
An officer radioed that Covarrubias was reaching into his pocket, police said, and then came the call that shots had been fired.
The department has not said whether a weapon was found at the scene or if they believe Covarrubias was armed.
His family said he was released from St. Clare Hospital after being evaluated for hallucinations and probably was walking home when the confrontation took place.
The father of seven had struggled with mental illness, alcoholism and an addiction to methamphetamine.