EVERETT, Wash. -- The former wife of a man fatally shot by police says bullets shouldn't have been the police's answer to the man's attempt to drive while intoxicated.
Niles Meservey, 51, had twice been arrested for domestic violence. Family members admit he drank too much.
But his ex-wife says he never should have been gunned down in a parking lot.
"Niles had his problems, but niles did not deserve to get shot," said Debbie Meservey.
The couple divorced in April.
Debbie Meservey says her former husband could be belligerent. But she believes Everett police had other options when he refused to get out of his car in the parking lot of the Chuckwagon Inn on Wednesday night.
"There was two officers. I understand they could have yanked him out," she said.
Several people called 911 on Wednesday night to report Niles Meservey was drunk and trying to drive away. Officers arrived and boxed in his Corvette along a fence.
But Niles Meservey refused to get out of his car, and an officer used a stun gun even though the car was running. Soon the Corvette drove forward, crashing into a fence in front of it.
Debbie believes the Taser jolt may have caused the crash.
"When they Tased him, isn't it reflex to let up on the gas or the clutch, and the car's going to go forward? Why did they shoot him?" she said.
The moment the Corvette hit the fence, it buckled and hit a bystander. A police officer - an 11-year veteran - opened fire.
An autopsy confirmed Niles Meservey died from multiple gunshot wounds.
"He probably didn't want to give his keys up and was just being stupid," said his ex-wife.
A special team is now investigating to see whether the officer was justified in using deadly force.
"I don't think it will be swept under the rug, though. I don't think so," said Debbie Meservey. "I don't think it will. They're investigating and Niles has family that's here."
It is not known how long the investigation will take. The officer who shot Niles Meservey has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure during investigation of officer-involved shootings.
Tags: Everett, Washington, police, shoot, kill, intoxicated, driver, parking lot, Chuck Wagon Inn
Location: Everett, Washington, United States (load item map)
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