Lawsuit filed against Snohomish County sheriff's deputies who shot and killed dog, shot owner multiple times

A federal lawsuit has been filed against two Snohomish County Sheriff's Office deputies for a shooting that killed a dog and injured a man in Sultan.

Deputy Kenneth Fredericksen and Sergeant Carl Whalen are named in a complaint that accuses them of using force that was "unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful" against 45-year-old Marcus Whybark, as well as making false statements about what happened during the shooting.

Whybark was with his companion at his home on July 9, 2023, when his attorney believes he was experiencing a mental health episode-- possibly due to the effects of alcohol withdrawal--that caused him to feel "confused, disoriented, and anxious."

Documents say Whybark walked around the house saying "nonsensical things and expressing irrational concerns" and, at some point, picked up a knife, making his companion feel concerned about his behavior.

As his companion goes back into her truck parked in front of Whybark's home, the complaint reveals he walked around his street while holding a knife before confronting a neighbor riding a bike down the same street.

Documents say Whybark and his neighbor got into a brief, physical fight and the neighbor escaped unharmed, before calling 911.

Body camera videos for both Deputy Fredericksen and Sgt. Whalen, along with Ring footage from a neighbor, captured the confrontation.

Just before 7 p.m. that day, Deputy Fredericksen is shown engaging with Whybark from a distance, ordering him to drop his knife, before Sgt. Whalen arrives minutes later, tasing Whybark and shooting Whybark's dog nearby.

Footage then shows Whybark running to and jumping on the bed cover of his companion's truck, hands up in front of his face and body, as both deputies fire multiple shots at Whybark.

The complaint says Whybark suffered gunshots to his legs, arm, pelvis, torso and head, and his dog died. Though Whybark's companion was in the line of fire behind Whybark during the shooting, the complaint does not mention if she was hurt.

Whybark's attorney also accused the deputies of lying in their written statements following the shooting:

For his part, Defendant Fredericksen gave a written statement at the direction of then-Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney. In his initialed and signed statement, which he purported to be "true," Defendant Fredericksen claimed, among other things, that after Mr. Whybark’s dog was shot, Mr. Whybark got onto the covered bed of the light-blue pickup truck and lay "prone on his stomach," while "screaming" and "trying to stab the window on the passenger side of the [pickup] with the knife." He claimed that Mr. Whybark "was trying to jam the knife into the window of the [pickup] as if he were trying to break the window." He claimed that Mr. Whybark "spent about 10-15 seconds" "trying to break the window with the knife." He claimed that Mr. Whybark "was "staring" at him and Defendant Whalen as a "pre-attack indicator" and "was about to push himself off" the truck and that he was "trying to actively harm people with the knife" when he was shot. And he claimed that after getting on the pickup bed, Mr. Whybark "rear[ed] his right hand back down to his hip area and thrust the knife over his head like a haymaker punch into the back of the [pickup’s] rear window." These statements are demonstrably false. They are contradicted by the clear video evidence. Defendant Fredericksen knowingly made these false statements in an effort to justify his unlawful use of deadly force.

For his part, Defendant Whalen also gave a written statement at the direction of then-Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney. In his initialed and signed statement, which he purported to be "true," Defendant Whalen claimed, among other things, that when he arrived on the scene, Mr. Whybark was "pacing back and forth in the street." He claimed that Mr. Whybark "posed an immediate threat to others." He originally claimed, before reviewing the video, that he "fired four or five rounds" at Mr. Whybark before he got onto the bed of the pickup truck after which time Mr. Whybark "got down onto the ground into the street," and said "something similar to the fact he was done." These statements are demonstrably false and contradicted by clear video evidence. Defendant Whalen acknowledged elsewhere in his statement that after reviewing the video footage, his "recollection was inaccurate." Moreover, shortly after the shooting, when supervising officers asked him about (1) the direction of the shots fired and (2) the trail of blood left by the dog he shot and killed, Defendant Whalen gave untrue answers, captured on other segments of body-worn camera footage. Specifically, footage shows Defendant Whalen pointing in an entirely different direction than the real shooting when asked which direction the shots were fired. And when asked about a trail of blood leading up to Mr. Whybark’s house, which had been left by the mortally wounded dog retreating to her home, Defendant Whalen stated that the blood was "unrelated to my incident" and had been there previously.

The complaint says Whybark has been suffering from significant physical injuries and emotional trauma ever since the shooting and is seeking compensation for medical bills related to his recovery and future care.

A spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office says it can't comment on pending litigation but did say the Snohomish County SMART team completed this criminal investigation. 


Seattle Public Schools proposal to close 20 elementary schools prompts boos from parents

Unlicensed driver charged with homicide in Seattle taxi cash

Idaho inmate mistakenly released from jail captured on Vashon Island

Des Moines teen missing for over a year, last believed to be in Mexico

Tacoma homeowner fights back when would-be burglar tries to break in

To get the best local news, weather and sports in Seattle for free, sign up for the daily FOX 13 Seattle newsletter.