Man accused in Bothell officer’s death pleads not guilty

The man accused of causing the death of a Bothell police officer during a gunfight in July pleaded not guilty Monday to aggravated first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and vehicular assault.

Henry Eugene Washington, 37, was charged in King County Superior Court on July 17, four days after a traffic stop in Bothell turned into a shootout that killed Officer Jonathan Shoop, 32, and wounded police Officer Mustafa Kumcur. Washington is being held without bail.

The Seattle Times reports that Washington is accused of firing shots into Shoop and Kumcur’s patrol SUV following a brief car chase on the night of July 13. As both Shoop and Kumcur returned fire, Shoop was caught in the crossfire and struck by one of Kumcur’s bullets.

Prosecutors say that although Washington didn’t fire the fatal shot, he was intent on killing the officers and is responsible for Shoop’s death.

“Mr. Washington’s actions in the present offense show by clear and convincing evidence that he has a propensity for violence that creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barboza wrote in an earlier request that Washington be held without bail.

Washington’s attorneys wrote in a motion that the case comes “during a unique time of civil unrest” as demonstrations continue across the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

“While many of the facts are still unknown, this case appears to involve a white officer and a black defendant,” Washington’s attorneys wrote. “We cannot know if racial issues were at play at this point of the case, however it is a clear question to be considered and one which will certainly face media scrutiny.”