As of September 5, 2017 the North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit has announced that it has nearly completed its investigation of the July 27, 2017 Officer Involved shooting at Albertson’s. The following is a timeline of events during the incident on July 27:
On July 27, 2017 at 22:05:47 hours, a reporting party called 911 to report that there was, “a guy screaming and yelling walking around with a knife” in the parking lot of the Albertson’s grocery store at 1128 N. Miller Street in Wenatchee. The reporting party was a truck driver who was making a delivery to the nearby Starbucks store.
At 22:06:43 hours, Wenatchee Police Officer Albert Gonzalez and other Wenatchee Police Officers responded toward Albertson’s.
At 22:08:29 hours, Officer Gonzalez entered the Albertson’s parking lot. He was the first officer on scene. As Officer Gonzalez drove west through the Albertson’s parking lot, his in-car camera captured the suspect walking in front of the patrol car toward the west Albertson’s entrance.
At 22:08:39 hours Officer Gonzalez parked his patrol car near the Albertson’s west entrance. The suspect had already reached the Albertson’s west entry doors and was approximately twenty feet from Officer Gonzalez’s driver’s side door. Officer Gonzalez was driving a fully marked patrol car with his emergency lights activated, and he was wearing a Wenatchee Police Department uniform. As Officer Gonzalez got out of his patrol car, surveillance video and eyewitness statements showed that the suspect moved aggressively toward him.
At 22:08:42 hours, Officer Gonzalez loudly and clearly gave the commands, “Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!” in rapid succession. Immediately following these commands, Officer Gonzalez fired three shots from his 9mm pistol. The suspect fell to the ground in close proximity to the open driver’s side patrol car door. Several Wenatchee Police Officers arrived to assist Officer Gonzalez after the shots were fired. Shortly after their arrival first aid was administered. A tactical folding knife with a 3-inch blade was found on the ground next to Folden’s upper body. The suspect was identified as 31 year-old Matthew L. Folden of Wenatchee.
Folden was transported by ambulance to Central Washington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2320 hours. Preliminary examination showed that he had gunshot wounds to the lower right abdomen, the lower right chest, and the right shoulder. During autopsy, three bullets were recovered from Folden’s body.
Officer Gonzalez provided a detailed statement to investigators. It stated upon contact with Folden, Officer Gonzalez observed a knife in Folden’s right hand. Folden was holding the knife close to the center of his chest. Folden immediately aggressed toward Officer Gonzalez and extended the knife with his right arm toward Officer Gonzalez. Officer Gonzalez said Folden was not responsive to any commands. After firing three shots at Folden, Folden fell to the ground. Folden was still in possession of the knife, but dropped it after Officer Gonzalez gave him the command to “drop the knife”. Folden complied and released the knife. Four independent eyewitnesses and video from Albertson’s corroborated Officer Gonzalez’s statement that Folden was the aggressor.
The investigation is pending a small amount of documentation and lab results to include toxicology and autopsy reports. Once the investigation is complete it will be turned over to the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
North Central Washington Special Investigation Unit is Capt. Jim West WPD * Undersheriff Jason Mathews CCSO * Chief Steve Groseclose DCSO * Capt. Edgar Reinfeld WPD