A Seattle police officer who had just finished her shift was struck by a car and killed while giving assistance at a three-car collision on the I-5.
The three-car collision happened around 1:18 a.m. according to a statement by the police.
Officer Alexandra Brenneman Harris, 38, stopped to help when a fourth driver hit her.
According to state police, the driver responsible for the death stayed at the scene to cooperate with authorities, but one of the drivers involved in the three-car collision subsequently drove off in Harris’ private vehicle. A WSP news release said that the vehicle was found abandoned Sunday morning and is being held for evidence.
WSP Capt. Ron Mead said that they are currently looking for the individual involved in the crash who stole the vehicle.
“It really speaks to where we are as a society, where we have such callousness when it comes to loss of life,” Mead said at a news conference in Bellevue.
Harris, who had worked with the SPD for 5 years, studied human kinetics at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and worked in the personal fitness industry for years after college.
She became interested in policing after checking out an SPD recruiting event. Her father said she liked the way the department approached policing. Her first patrol was in Queen Anne, and she later spent two years on bike patrol downtown on the overnight watch.
“She would stop on the streets and talk to the homeless people,” treating everyone with compassion, her father said.
Harris also joined the department’s wellness unit to help officers’ physical and mental health, and later created the podcast “The Leaderist,” which talks about “improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Her father, Laird Harris, said “It was typical Lexi,” Laird said of how she died. “It was in her nature. I’m sure her major thought was getting people out of danger.”
“This is devastating. Our hearts are with the officer’s family and our brothers and sisters at SPD,” the Bellevue Police Department wrote on Twitter.
The SPD are considering the death to be “a line of duty death” because she had just gotten off her shift and was helping others.