King County (Seattle area) Deputy Steve Cox down
Deputy Steve Cox was shot in the head and killed in an exchange on gunfire during the investigation of a nearby shooting.
Link to KOMO news story here.
I don't intend to step on King County toes, they knew him best, but I knew Steve as an aggressive Franklin County deputy prosecutor who always tried to make a difference, was great fun to be around off-duty, and who finally decided to make the move from the courtroom to the patrol car.
Here's the local story, from a Franklin County paper:
Ex-Franklin deputy prosecutor dies in Seattle shooting
Published Sunday, December 3rd, 2006
By The Associated Press and Herald staff
SEATTLE -- A King County sheriff's deputy and former deputy prosecutor in Franklin and Adams counties was killed Saturday after responding to a shooting near a residence in southwest Seattle.
Deputy Steve Cox died about 6 a.m. at Harborview Medical Center after he was shot in the head hours earlier. Cox, 46, was a nine-year veteran of the department and entered law enforcement after serving as a prosecutor in Adams, Franklin and King counties in the 1990s.
"He was everything I could have had in a brother if I had one," said Eric Walker of Spokane.
Cox was the best man at Walker's wedding. They met in Franklin County when Walker worked in the county clerk's office and Cox was a deputy prosecutor. But his friend yearned to trade his coat and tie for a badge, Walker said.
"He was doing something he loved," Walker said.
Franklin County Prosecutor Steve Lowe described Cox as "an idealist and he really wanted to make a difference in court. He was always frustrated when a judge or technical rulings would go against a good prosecution."
Cox, who came to work for Franklin County in 1991, handled some prominent felony cases, including the prosecution of a gang-related killing in 1994. Lowe said part of what drew Cox to the county was a desire to tackle gang activity and crime.
"He was one of the soldiers out there who helped make Pasco succeed today," Lowe said.
Cox lived in White Center with his wife, Maria, and 1-year-old son Bronson. He was known as a community activist, and was president of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, according to the Seattle Times.
Walker said he and Cox talked Wednesday about a home in Enumclaw where Cox and his family planned to move. The couple recently celebrated the birthday of their son, who they adopted earlier this year from Guatemala.
"This is a terrible loss to the sheriff's office, and an especially painful loss to the community," said King County Sheriff Sue Rahr. "Steve epitomized the concept of community policing and giving back to the residents where you work. He cannot be replaced."
Cox was working overtime early Saturday, Walker said. He died after he and other officers responded to a call at 1:42 a.m. Saturday and found the driver of a truck who had been beaten and shot at least once in the head in the White Center neighborhood.
"Apparently, the man had been drinking, gotten lost and ran his truck into a parked car, which likely precipitated the assault," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said.
Officers began questioning at least a dozen people at a party at a nearby house. Cox was interviewing people in a back bedroom, Urquhart said, when a shot was heard.
Two sheriff's deputies moved toward the back of the house and were fired upon. At least one officer shot back, authorities said, and they rushed toward the room.
The gunman had been shot and killed, and Cox was mortally wounded.
Cox attended Highline Community College in Seattle and the Central Washington University branch campus in that city. He graduated from Williamette University Law School in May 1991, and was hired by Franklin County that fall.
He worked briefly as a deputy prosecutor in Adams County before moving back to Seattle in early 1997. He also was a prosecutor in King County before going into law enforcement, a decision that didn't surprise Lowe and others.
"He worked very hard, he knew how to put a good case together, he was a good trial lawyer and he would have made a great career prosecutor," Lowe said. "But he wanted to be out there (on the streets).
"He was somebody who made a difference here, and we're hurting."