Update: Medical examiner's office confirms Wilburton Park shooter took own life

The King County Medical Examiner's Office has identified 54-year-old John H. Comstock as the man Bellevue Police say shot at officers in the Wilburton Hill Park area on the night of Jan. 2, which ended after an 11-hour search. While the police department reported and then retracted finding the gunman dead, the medical examiner's office confirmed Comstock died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Bellevue Police Ofc. Carla Iafrate says officers responded to the area around 11 p.m. Jan. 2 after receiving a report for a welfare check on a subject.

"During that whole process there were some shots fired," she said, "and at one point the officers felt the shots were directed at them."

More than 40 officers from various law enforcement agencies, including King and Snohomish counties — providing search helicopters — responded to the area and Wilburton Park, Kelsey Creek Park and the Bellevue Botanical Garden were closed off. Main Street from 124th to 118th avenues southeast were also closed during the search. Wilburton and Kelsey Creek parks were reopened Friday (Jan. 3), but the botanical garden remained closed until Saturday (Jan. 4).

Iafrate confirmed the subject was found in a shrub-dense area of the park near where the last shot was reported, but was not able to confirm he was dead. She added the initial night-time search made it difficult to find the subject until morning.

"It becomes a very complicated, methodical search," she said.

Bellevue Police reported Wednesday no more information was available by press time as the case remains under active investigation.


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