Independent and concurrent investigations by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, and the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, regarding the shooting death of Eduardo Navarrete Cordero have been completed.
Navarrete Cordero, 35, died from multiple gunshot wounds inflicted by Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies Christopher Kurkowski, Greg McClendon and James Oleole. Navarrete Cordero was shot and killed after he lunged at Deputy Oleole while armed with a knife.
Pierce County Medical Examiner, Doctor Thomas Clark, performed an autopsy and determined Navarrete Cordero had 11 gunshot wounds, two of which would have been fatal. The toxicology report noted methamphetamine in Navarrete’s system as well.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the deputies acted lawfully.
“Mr. Cordero was suicidal and sadly chose to commit suicide-by-cop,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “As a community, we need to address mental health issues before the conduct escalates into self-harm or harm to others.”
On August 12, 2017 South Sound 911 received a call from a home on 189th Street Court East about a dispute. The caller said Navarrete Cordero was high on meth and armed with a knife which had been pulled on another individual at the residence. Multiple deputies from the Pierce County Sherriff’s Department responded to the call due to there being a weapon involved. While enroute, deputies were told that Navarrete Cordero had left the residence and was last seen walking southbound on 74th Avenue East. The caller also stated Navarrete Cordero was armed with a knife and made threats to kill whoever tried to stop him.
The first deputies arrived at 6:42 am and quickly confirmed Navarrete Cordero was no longer at the residence. Responding deputies began an area check. Within minutes, Deputies Kurkowski and McClendon located Navarrete Cordero near 74th Avenue and 190th Street Court East.
Additional deputies including Deputies Oleole and Hirschi responded to that location. Deputies Kurkowski and McClendon gave Navarrete several verbal commands to stop and drop the knife, but Navarrete would not comply. Deputy Oleole gave Navarrete verbal commands to drop the knife but again, Navarrete would not comply. Navarrete lunged at Deputy Oleole and the first shots were fired. Deputies Kurkowski, McClendon and Oleole fired rounds at Navarrete due to the immediate threat to Deputy Oleole. Navarrete was struck several times and fell to the ground with the knife still in his hand. Deputies requested medical aid but Navarrete died before emergency responders arrived.
Doctor Clark also noted recent incised wounds to Navarrete’s left wrist suggesting Navarrete had cut his wrist prior to this incident.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].