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Kennewick man led troubled life before Sunday’s shooting

By Cameron Probert Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)

Hussein Hassan spent many of his days just walking Kennewick streets before his deadly encounter with police on Sunday.

Hassan wascarrying a sword when he was shot and killed by officers Sunday night.

People reported seeing Hassan walking around Kennewick with a sword Sunday. Facebook posts mentioned spotting him as early as 6 a.m.

When Officer Jason Kiel found him on Olympia Street about 6:30 p.m., Hussein Hassan reportedly charged him, hitting him several times in the head. Officer Joshua Kuhn arrived next and both officers drew their guns and fired.

In the small community of Somali immigrants in the Tri-Cities, the father of eight was a well known, though a volatile, fixture, said Abdrahman Hassan, who owns a Kennewick grocery store.

“I think a lot of people in the Tri-Cities, they know this guy,” he told the Herald.

Abdrahman Hassan said he didn’t know how long Hassan had been in the U.S. but knew he brought his family to the Tri-Cities about five years ago after the International Rescue Committee Seattle helped move him to Tukwila in 2010.

Hussein Hassan spent a year in Pasco, before moving into a Sixth Avenue apartment in Kennewick.

He worked at Tyson Foods and then ConAgra before losing his job. He fell twice in a freezer tunnel at the Richland plant and hurt his back, according to documents he filed in a Benton County court.

His small claims court suit against his supervisor, claiming discrimination because he was Muslim, was ultimately dismissed. It’s unclear if he again found work.

Last October, his troubles worsened.

Someone called police because his wife reportedly was damaging a neighbor’s car.

When officers arrived, Hussein Hassan answered the door of his apartment and a confrontation with officers ensued and he was charged with biting Officer James Canada.

After his arrest, Hussein Hassan lost his financial rental assistance for his apartment and members of the East Africa community found the family another place to live, said Abdrahman Hassan.

But over the next few months, Hussein Hassan failed to show up for his court-ordered mental health evaluation and his court hearings.

Wednesday’s autopsy showed Hassan was hit multiple times in the torso, Benton County Coroner John Hansens said in a news release. Forensic pathologist Dr. Sigmund Menchel of Bellevue performed the autopsy.

At least one person, Cat Creighton of Kennewick, posted on Facebook, that she and her children saw the incident. She said the officers gave Hassan a second chance to get on the ground before they fired.

Abdrahman Hassan said he’d encouraged Hassan and his wife to get counseling or help with their struggles, but Hussein Hassan would get angry.

“You cannot tell him, ‘You are sick,’” Abdrahman Hassan said.

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