TACOMA, WA – Independent and concurrent investigations by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department regarding the shooting death of Justin Michael Linn, 28, have been completed. Linn died from a gunshot wound inflicted by Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy John Delgado.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the death was justifiable homicide under state law. “This defendant had a violent history and posed a serious danger,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The deputy did what was necessary to protect himself and our community.”
On July 27, 2013, Linn committed a residential armed robbery and shot the homeowner. Deputies attempted to arrest him on two occasions in August, but he was able to elude them. During the first attempt, Linn tossed a handgun as he ran from deputies.
Sheriff’s detectives received information that Linn was staying at a motel in Buckley and was armed with a gun. Deputies arrived at the motel on Aug. 22 and conducted surveillance to confirm Linn’s location. When Linn spotted the deputies, he ran. They ordered him to remove his hands from his waistband, but he ignored their commands. As deputies caught up to Linn, he turned, faced them and started to pull his hands up from his waistband. Deputy Delgado believed Linn was pulling out a weapon and he feared for his life, so he fired four shots at Linn. One bullet struck him in the chest. Linn was not armed when he was shot, but deputies found a loaded handgun in his motel room.
Twelve days later, Linn died in the hospital from pneumonia related to his gunshot wound.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office