Family of man shot by Pierce County deputy settles lawsuit for $3.5M

PORT ORCHARD — The estate of a man fatally wounded in Port Orchard by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy after a car chase has settled a federal excessive force lawsuit for $3.5 million.

Brent Lee Heath, 35, died in 2018, a year after Deputy Carl Shanks shot him in the head at the end of a 2017 police chase that lasted 12 miles, the Kitsap Sun reported.

No weapons were found in the vehicle, and a woman in the car told investigators it appeared Heath was preparing to surrender. A lawyer said Thursday that Heath did not pose a threat to Shanks.

Attorney Anthony Otto announced the $3.5 million settlement Thursday.

The chase started when a deputy tried to pull over Heath for driving with expired tabs.

Though Heath did not have a gun, 9-1-1 dispatchers relayed information to deputies during the chase that a person associated with the car had a warrant for an unlawful possession of a firearm.

“Turned out not to be the guy,” Shanks told investigators. “Our guy (Heath) had a different warrant, but that was in everybody’s head I think when we were chasing is that this guy … maybe a gun guy.”

Sgt. Darren Moss Jr., a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department, did not respond to a message left Thursday on his voicemail.

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