SEATTLE - A coroner's inquest jury examining a Seattle police officer's fatal shooting of a woodcarver last summer returned its findings Thursday, with just one of its eight members saying the carver posed any threat.
Four jurors said carver John T. Williams, 50, did not pose a threat and three others said they didn’t know.
The conclusions reached after two days of deliberations are only findings of fact. In considering 13 questions, the jury was not asked to decide whether Officer Ian Birk committed any wrongdoing.
Evidence from the inquest and the jury’s answers will be forwarded to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg to determine whether Birk should be charged in the shooting. Satterberg said he expects to make a decision by mid-February.
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Birk, 27, confronted Williams on Aug. 30 as he crossed a street holding a piece of wood and a knife with a 3-inch blade.