Police announced Thursday that they have recovered a .380-caliber pistol belonging to 19-year-old Kenneth Harding Jr., of Seattle, the man fatally shot while fleeing from officers in the Bayview on July 16.
Police said in a statement that a neighbor led officers from Bayview station to an AMT .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The gun was later confirmed by the Police Department’s crime lab to be the same gun that fired the fatal .380-caliber bullet into Harding’s neck, police said.
The bullet was recovered from Harding’s head in an autopsy, and a similar .380-caliber bullet was found in Harding’s jacket, leading police to speculate that Harding accidentally shot himself while fleeing from officers.
Police have said Harding ran from officers who were detaining him for evading a Muni fare at Third Street and Palou Avenue, and during the pursuit, fired at the officers, who returned fire.
Harding then dropped his gun, according to police, and collapsed nearby, where people began gathering, some of them angered by their belief that police had shot an unarmed man. Some onlookers recorded the scene with cellphones and later posted the video online.
“The small silver and black handgun, seen on the widely viewed cellphone video of the incident, was picked up from the crime scene by an individual during the chaotic aftermath of the shooting,” police said in a statement.
Police thanked the Bayview community for assisting in the investigation, which they said is ongoing.