Family of man killed by Lakewood cops want answers: 'Police just shot him like he was garbage'

LAKEWOOD -- Police still don’t know why 37-year-old Daniel Covarrubias was seen running or why he hid inside the Pinnacle lumberyard on Tuesday.

Daniel’s sister, Lanna Covarrubias, said her family is devastated by the shooting. She said while Daniel had a history of drug addiction and mental issues, he wasn’t a violent person. Now she want's to know why police had to shoot him Tuesday.

“It was for nothing,” Lanna said Wednesday. “It was a pointless, senseless death. And he’s gone.”

Lanna said Daniel leaves behind seven children who will grow up without their dad.

On Tuesday, multiple 911 callers reported seeing a man running through a lumberyard.

The Lakewood Police Department said officers found the man hiding on multiple stacks of plywood in the lumberyard.  While communicating with the man, police radioed saying that he was reaching into his pocket. That's when officers fired their weapons, hitting Daniel multiple times.

Investigators will not yet say if Daniel was carrying weapons.

“He was shot in broad daylight at 2 o’clock,” said Lanna. “He was unarmed, something we’re seeing all across our country every day, by the police.”

Daniel had a criminal history with convictions and arrests ranging from DUI, assault and police obstruction.

Lanna said her brother was putting his life back together and that he was back in school.

“Even my own kids looked up to my brother. He was such a good person, you know when he was clean, he just had an addiction,” she said. “That’s separate from who he was, he wasn’t just some drug addict who wasn’t nothing.”

Lakewood police wouldn’t comment on camera Wednesday but said their Major Crimes Unit is getting help from the Cooperative Cities Crime Response Unit and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office on the investigation.

Daniel’s family wants answers now.

“The police just shot him like he was garbage,” Lanna said. “And they’re doing that to all our men, men that are struggling with addiction, struggling with mental illness.”

The Lakewood Police Department is not using body cameras. The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Officials from the department said the names of the officers involved would not be released until the case is sent to prosecutors.

The Tacoma Action Collective said a vigil and rally for Covarrubias will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Lakewood Police Department, where gatherers will "demand the investigation into his death be timely and transparent."