Driver killed by trooper wanted 'death by cop'
The Olympia Police Department is leading a multi-agency independent investigation into Saturday’s fatal shooting of a driver by a Washington State Patrol trooper on southbound Interstate 5 in Lacey.
“It’s going to be a couple of more weeks before this is done, and that’s not unusual,” Olympia Police Lt. Paul Lower told The Olympian on Monday. “It’s just the nature of having lab work and forensics and you want it all done before you sign off on all of the paperwork.”
National Guard reservist Michael Rude, 22, of Kent, was shot by an 18-year state trooper on the freeway near Carpenter Road.
An autopsy was performed on Monday.
“Mr. Rude died of penetrating and perforating gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen with internal bleeding,” Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said.
The trooper, whose name has not yet been released, is on administrative leave, according to patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova.
The Thurston County Critical Incident Investigation Team was called to investigate the shooting. The team also includes investigators from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and the Lacey and Tumwater police departments. The team will submit a report to the Thurston County Prosecutor to determine whether any criminal charges are warranted.
The Washington State Patrol is not part of the investigation.
So far, detectives have been contacting witnesses who either called in or were interviewed at the scene, Lower said. They also are processing evidence that was collected at the scene and trying to collect copies of the audio and video that are out there, he said. Some items, such as ballistics, are getting sent to a forensics lab, Lower said.
According to Bova, Rude called 911 from Highway 167 in King County at 6:13 a.m.
“He told a dispatcher that he was distraught, suicidal and had a knife,” Bova wrote in a news release. “He also indicated that he wanted to attack any police officer who pulled him over, that he was driving unsafely and at a high rate of speed.”
When he was pulled over on I-5 in Lacey, Rude advanced at troopers with a knife, Bova said. He was shot and died at the scene, she said.