The man fatally shot by a King County sheriff's deputy during a roadside brawl on Tuesday morning had been involuntarily committed to a Seattle hospital in 2001 after threatening his parents with a knife, according to court records.
Pedro Jo, 33, who was fatally shot by Deputy Paul Schene, had undergone psychiatric evaluation several other times. King County Superior Court documents show that Jo was twice admitted to a psychiatric hospital in California in 1998 and 1999 with the diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Earlier this year, a University of Washington professor was so frightened of Jo that he asked campus police for protection when he passed out grades to his student, according to a source close to the investigation into Jo's shooting.
And two of his former roommates said they moved out of a home they shared with Jo because they were afraid for their safety, the source said.
As the sheriff's department waits to interview Schene about the shooting, it is also learning more about Jo's past.
Jo was sent to Western State Hospital for a mental-health and competency evaluation in 2003 after being arrested for attacking and robbing a woman who was using a pay phone. A forensic mental-health evaluation of Jo conducted at that time noted that he had twice been secluded for making threats to staff members and peers, and found him at high risk to commit future criminal acts.
He pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was sentenced to three months in jail and ordered to complete mental-health treatment.
Jo transferred to the UW as a junior last year from Highline Community College. UW police Assistant Chief Ray Whittmier confirmed that Jo was known to police and had been the subject of several police reports, but would not elaborate on the incidents.
Additional details about his time at the UW was expected to be included in search-warrant documents expected to be filed today. The documents will include information on what was found during searches of Jo's car and home.
Jo was shot about 2 a.m. after he was pulled over by Schene for driving erratically on northbound Interstate 5 in South Seattle. According to the sheriff's department, Schene was on his way to King County Jail with a woman who was to be booked on drug charges when he saw Jo speeding, cutting through traffic and driving erratically.
The deputy turned on his lights and siren and Jo stopped his car in the middle of the freeway, the sheriff's office said. Schene got out of the car, talked to Jo and persuaded him to pull his car to the shoulder, the sheriff's department said. Once there, Schene again got out of the patrol car and spoke with Jo, then returned to his vehicle, where the woman he was transporting asked him to loosen her handcuffs.
While Schene was attending to the woman, Jo got out of his car and attacked the deputy from behind, according to Sgt John Urquhart, King County sheriff's spokesman.
Urquhart said Jo and Schene had a "knock-down, drag-out" fight in which Jo bit and kicked Schene and managed to rip the cord of the deputy's portable radio.
Schene has not yet made a statement to investigators about the incident, and police said they do not know exactly what happened after the fight. At some point, Jo returned to his car and the deputy fired the weapon. Police also have not said whether Jo was armed.
Deputies involved in a shooting incident are encouraged to seek the counsel of attorneys or guild representatives before making a statement, Urquhart said. If the sheriff's office decides to order the deputy to make a statement, he would have 72 hours in which to comply.
The shooting was the second for the 28-year-old Schene, a five-year veteran of the sheriff's office who is stationed in SeaTac. Schene has been put on paid administrative leave as is standard practice following an officer-involved shooting.
In 2002, Schene wounded a man who had rammed his car into the legs of another deputy, gotten out of the car and was rushing toward Schene, according to police. The shooting was deemed justifiable.