Ritzville, WA — A disturbing video was released this week showing the actions of a hero along with the actions of trained killers who stopped him which left his 48-year-old family member dead.
The video footage is from a Washington State Patrol trooper’s vehicle that was on scene of the April 11 shooting outside Love’s Travel Stop in Ritzville. It shows Shawn Lee’s last moments alive before police put several rounds through his body, killing him.
According to police, Lee was passing through Ritzville with a family member on April 10 when his vehicle broke down. A tow truck reportedly brought Lee’s truck back to the Love’s Travel stop and beginning that Saturday morning, on April 11, police began receiving calls about Lee. According to investigators, Lee made two of the calls himself.
According to the report:
In the calls, Lee reportedly made allegations about being tracked and that his pickup was bugged. Family members from out of the area also called police to say Lee was suicidal and in possession of a sword. When Lee was initially contacted Saturday, he denied the allegations and the family member with Lee told officers the situation was under control.
About 11:30 p.m. April 11, the family member with Lee went inside Love’s Travel Stop and asked for help, according to investigators. Ritzville Police Officer Jeff Lane and state Trooper Nate Romaneschi responded.
When officers were speaking with the family member on scene, dash cam video shows Lee exit the vehicle swinging a machete. The family member attempts to intervene as Lee began to approach the officers.
The unnamed family member heroically charges Lee in an attempt to take the machete from his hand. The two are struggling but the family member was successfully pushing him away from officers. Had he been allowed to continue attempting to disarm Lee, he could have been successful.
This heroic act would be short lived however as officers demanded the family member stop trying to help.
“You are not doing this,” the man yells to Lee. “You are not doing this!”
“Get back,” an officer is heard yelling.
“Get out of the way,” another officer says. “Get out of the way. Get out of the f**cking way!”
Had the family member been allowed to disarm Lee and not told to “get out of the f**king way,” Lee would most likely be alive and be getting the help he so direly needed. Sadly, however, that is not what happened.
As the family member has guns and tasers pointed at him, he is forced to stop helping at which point Lee walks in the direction of the cops. One of the officers fires a taser, which didn’t penetrate Lee’s jacket, so it had no effect.
Lee appeared to have no intention of hurting the cops, he was simply waiving the machete in the air while opening his jacket, yelling at them to “shoot me!”
Although Lee steps off camera for a few seconds, he appears to be stationary and simply waiving his hands around when cops open fire.
“Officer Lane deployed a Taser on Lee, which had no effect on him. Lee continued to close the distance on the officers swinging the machete when Lane fired from his department-issued firearm at a range of approximately 10 feet. The bullets struck Lee and caused him to drop the machete,” investigators stated.
An ambulance was called and first aid was rendered, but the bullet holes through Lee’s chest proved to be too much for his body to handle. He died shortly after.
It took these two cops less than 60 seconds after they arrived on the scene to shoot and kill Lee.
In their own report, police admitted that Lee was not even near them, he was 10 feet away. Instead of simply walking backward, or moving behind their patrol car, cops immediately resorted to opening fire. This is the way cops are trained in the United States.