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IDENTIFIED: The Officer Who Killed Jaahnavi Previously Had His License Suspended
Former Marine Kevin Dave, 35, worked at Tucson PD for a year, then as a loss prevention officer before he joined SPD with a hiring bonus in 2019.
DivestSPD has identified the Seattle police officer responsible for the collision that killed 23-year-old student Jaahnavi Kandula last week as Kevin Austin Dave. While SPD still hasn’t officially confirmed the driver’s identity, we’ve determined it with high confidence using the methods described below.
The Seattle Police Department had previously stated that the officer who struck Kandula with his car was hired in November 2019. Only five current officers match this description, according to certification records from the state Criminal Justice Training Commission.
Of those five, only Dave was assigned to a unit in the vicinity of the collision and working at the time it happened. The collision occurred near the intersection of Dexter and Thomas— located in West Precinct David Sector—at around 8:03 pm. Dave was assigned to 3rd Watch D/M Relief, which begins at 7:30 pm.
D/M Relief covers both David and the adjacent Mary sector. On the police scanners, the unit that hit Kandula was described as “3 Mary 2,” meaning it was assigned to Mary.
We’ve further corroborated the identification using methods we would prefer not to disclose at this time, as doing so might compromise our ability to use them in the future.
Dave was previously employed by the Tucson Police Department, but he left after a year and a half in 2013 under unknown circumstances. According to an outdated and inactive LinkedIn profile, Dave spent the next few years working as a loss prevention officer at Kohl’s and JCPenney before relocating to Washington, where he has relatives, and joining SPD.
He was among the 107 officers who received hiring bonuses under the 2019 incentive program. Dave doesn’t have a significant disciplinary history with SPD thus far, but court records show his Arizona driver’s license was suspended in 2018 for unpaid traffic fines and failure to appear in court. Dave was also ticketed the same year for running a red light in Puyallup.
According to the latest salary data from the City of Seattle, Dave makes $95,380 a year base pay.
We have multiple open public records requests seeking to find out more about his time at Tucson PD and other information about his background. We’ll release more details in the near future as we get them.