A northwest Spokane resident was justified when he shot and killed an intoxicated man shouting threats and trying to break into his home through the storm door, the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office ruled.
Kevin Elliott shot Jerry R. King, 39, on Jan. 30 after showing King his gun and warning him that he’d shoot, according to a county news release.
“Mr. Elliott was in his own home and had no duty to retreat,” the release said. “He felt threatened for himself, his wife and small baby.”
King was living two doors away from Elliott at the time of the shooting.
Elliott shot King through the storm door; King was unarmed, according to Prosecutor Larry Haskell.
But King’s autopsy found that he was drunk and high on marijuana when he came to the Elliotts’ home at 6516 N. Assembly St. after 10 p.m. that night, the news release said.
King’s stepdaughter, Isabella Scott, 19, questioned Haskell’s decision, noting that King never entered the home.
Just prior to the shooting he’d pounded on the door at a house on North Driscoll Boulevard, alarming the woman who lived there, the release said.
King then went to the Elliotts’ home, where the couple were watching TV. They heard King yelling on the front porch and Elliott looked through the door’s peephole, then retrieved his gun, the release said.
Elliott opened the interior door with his gun at his side and ordered King to leave, and there was “a verbal confrontation,” the release said. Elliott raised the gun and again told King to leave, but King banged on the glass storm door, “trying to get into the Elliott home with the stated intent to assault Mr. Elliott,” the release said. When King began to break the door, Elliott shot, the release said. He hit King once in the torso.
The Elliotts called 911 during the altercation and were on the phone with police when Kevin Elliott shot King, according to a statement from an attorney representing Elliott. The statement, from Winston & Cashatt attorney Kevin Curtis, said Elliott does not want to talk about the incident, but that he cooperated with investigators.
“The Elliotts express their condolences to the King family for their loss,” the statement said.
Curtis disputed reports that King confused the Elliotts’ home with his own.
“The suggestion that Mr. King was simply intoxicated, confused and/or harmless, believing he was just trying to enter his own house is in direct contradiction to the facts,” the statement said.
Haskell, the county prosecutor, said his staff had alerted King’s family to the conclusion that his shooting was justified. The family doesn’t agree with that conclusion, Haskell said.
Scott said her stepfather had walked to a store with his brother to buy alcohol. On the way home, her uncle was eager to get home and walked ahead of her stepfather, who walked slowly because of back problems. So King’s brother was not with him at the time of the shooting.
Her stepfather had poor vision and did not have prescription glasses, another factor which Scott believes led him to approach the home by mistake.
King and his wife moved in with his mother-in-law, Julie Scott, in December after living in Arizona for about the past five years, Isabella Scott said. She and her brother, King’s son Damien King, 18, also were living at the home.
Scott said her stepfather was not violent, even when he drank alcohol and smoked marijuana.
She said King played guitar and that “music was his passion.” Her mother and King married before she turned 1.
“He was just genuinely kind and funny,” Scott said.
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