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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

Inquest ordered into death of man following exchange of gunfire with Kent Police


Fact-finding hearing is customary to determine causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of law enforcement while in performance of duties.


King County Executive Dow Constantine today ordered an inquest into the death of Richard Duncalf following an exchange of gunfire with Kent Police on July 20, 2014.

According to the police investigation, the man was the subject of a manhunt in the 22900 block of 86th Avenue South in Kent when officers came under fire and returned fire, fatally wounding Duncalf.

The King County Prosecutor’s office recommended the inquest after reviewing materials from the Auburn Police Department, which conducted the investigation on behalf of the Valley Investigation Team.

Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. Under a standing Executive Order, inquests are convened to determine the causes and circumstances of any death involving a member of any law enforcement agency within King County while in the performance of his or her duties.

Inquests provide transparency into law enforcement actions so the public may have all the facts established in a court of law. The ordering of an inquest should carry no other implication. Inquest jurors answer a series of interrogatories to determine the significant factual issues involved in the case, and it is not their purpose to determine whether any person or agency is civilly or criminally liable.

The order signed by the Executive requests King County District Court Presiding Judge Donna Tucker to assign a judge to set a date and conduct the inquest.

The ordering of inquests is a function vested in the county executive under the King County Code.

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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