Family, friends of man shot by police protest outside department, demand justice

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, family and friends of Gordon Whitaker protested outside the Kennewick Police Department. They had signs in hand – many with the words ”#JusticeForGordonWhitaker.”

The 45-year-old was shot and killed by police on Monday morning near Fruitland Street and Columbia Drive. Whitaker’s daughter is calling for justice.

“He’s a funny, caring, genuine guy,” said Juliet Whitaker-Green. “I want it to be known. I want him to have justice.”

According to authorities, Whitaker ran off from police. He allegedly showed a gun. That’s when officers shot him multiple times. It’s not known how many officers shot him or how many times Whitaker was hit.

In a release sent out to media outlets Tuesday evening, authorities say they found a handgun while processing evidence. It’s not known if it belongs to Whitaker or not.

Family members said Whitaker wouldn’t have outrun the cops because of a knee injury.

Whitaker did have a criminal record, which family and friends addressed at the protest. They said the charges were years ago and he served his time.

“I mean, we all make mistakes and he wasn’t dealt the greatest life and so, you know, he got into trouble,” said Sarese Kirk, friend of Gordon. “And he did some things, but what he had done, he had already done his time. He’s already made up for it.”

Tia Hunter, the mother of one of Gordon’s children, broke the news of Whitaker’s death to their teenage son, who said he’s having a hard time with the death.

“He’s about to turn 13 in a couple months,” Hunter said. “And his dad is not going to be able to be there.”

One of those in attendance of the protest was a local community activist.

“In these situations, a lot of times the family doesn’t know where to go, what to do, what first steps,” said Christie Tucker. “As a community activist that’s our job to step in and back up the family and let them know these are the avenues you should take.”

The officers involved in the shooting have been identified as Officer Becca Henry, Officer Zach Moore and Officer Dylan Markley. They’ve all been put on administrative leave, per protocol.

With signs in hand, protesters say Whitaker was murdered and they want the officers punished.

“We just want everything to come out. The truth, the whole truth,” Kirk said. “And the cops who did this to, you know, get punished for what they did.”

“As of this release, the investigation is in its early stages so not all the details of what happened are known to investigators at this time,” the release said. “More details will be released as the investigation continues.”

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is requested to contact Pasco Police Department Sgt. Jamie Raebel at his email: raebelj@pasco-wa.gov, or at his office number: (509) 544-3076.

RELATED: Investigators: Pistol found at scene where Kennewick officers fatally shot man

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