Seattle shooting suspect called ‘domestic terrorist’
SEATTLE - Police described a suspect in the shooting death of a Seattle police officer as a “lone domestic terrorist’’ and said he was also suspected of firebombing four police vehicles.
At a news conference, Seattle Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel identified Christopher Monfort, 41, as the man shot by police on Friday as he was sought in connection with the Halloween killing of Officer Timothy Brenton. Pugel also said investigators found improvised explosive devices at Monfort’s apartment.
“This man, from everything we can tell is a lone domestic terrorist,’’ Pugel said. “At this moment we cannot find any ties to anyone else.’’
Police evacuated part of Monfort’s apartment complex Saturday evening after finding what was described as a “potential hazard,’’ Seattle’s KING 5 News reported. Police allowed residents to return to their homes after about an hour.
Brenton was sitting in a car Oct. 31 with rookie Officer Britt Sweeney after a traffic stop when shots were fired. Sweeney was grazed in the neck.
Detectives have asked the King County prosecutor’s office for formal charges in the case.
Yesterday morning, Monfort was still in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson. He arrived at the hospital in critical condition with multiple injuries Friday and underwent surgery.
Pugel said police believe Monfort is connected to the Oct. 22 firebombings of three Seattle police cruisers and a mobile command post at a city garage. Investigators reportedly found a note threatening to kill officers and fliers protesting police brutality at the arson scene.
On Friday, police detectives were pursuing a tip from the resident who said a car at an apartment complex in suburban Tukwila matched the description of a vehicle seen nearby when Brenton was killed.