SEATTLE—When T.J. Molina approached King County Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy Nicholas Pritchett on a Friday evening in 2016 on the Muckleshoot Reservation in Washington state, he just wanted some help.
That day, he and his pregnant partner, Renee Davis, both members of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, had been planning to pick up a crib and clothing for their child, who was due in just a few months. But before they left, Molina said he took a nap and Davis, 23, became annoyed and told him to leave. The situation spiraled once he was out of the house, and at 6:14 p.m., Davis texted him a photo of what appeared to be at least one large cut on her body.
She also sent the words: “Well come get the girls or call 911 I’m about to shoot myself.”
Molina raced for assistance, as he was looking for someone he could explain to in detail what had happened. That’s when he saw Deputy Pritchett at the tribe’s powwow grounds—the tribe receives some law-enforcement help from the Sheriff’s Office. He remembers rushing to describe how worried he was for Davis and their unborn baby.
When asked if Davis had any weapons, Molina said he explained that she’s a hunter, so she had firearms.
“I thought, ‘OK I’m going to go over here, talk to him real quick, see if he can just go run over there, knock on the door, see if she’s OK, that’s all,’” Molina, now 37, told The Daily Beast during a recent phone interview.
Instead, according to an inquest hearing in 2017, within 62 seconds of Deputy Pritchett and Patrol Deputy Timothy Lewis reporting that they entered Davis’ home on Oct. 21, 2016, they fatally shot Davis. A half-Black and half-Native mother of three who was pregnant with another child, Davis was struck in her shoulder, thigh, and chest. Officers said that after they entered her bedroom, she raised what they later learned was an unloaded pistol and made them fear for their lives, while some who were close to Davis said there’s no evidence she threatened them.
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