The brother of the man killed in a shootout with police in Port Orchard Sunday has told the Salt Lake Tribune that his brother Anthony Martinez is being wrongly characterized as a violent pedophile.
Instead, Barrett Martinez told the newspaper Thursday that his brother was attempting to save a teenage girl from a troubled home life.
It was not the first time his brother helped the girl escape a bad situation, he said.
Anthony Martinez died in the shootout in a Wal-Mart parking lot with Kitsap County Sheriff deputies after he first shot and wounded two other deputies. A teenage girl who appeared to be with Martinez also died in the shootout Sunday.
Washington State Patrol investigators said they haven’t identified the young girl yet.
One of the two deputies was released from Tacoma General Hospital yesterday. Both deputies sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Barrett Martinez told the Salt Lake Tribune that his brother ended up in California with a 13-year-old girl in September not to pursue a sexual relationship but rather to prevent the girl from following through on suicidal threats.
The two were picked up in California on Oct. 5, and she was placed in a foster care facility in South Salt Lake. However, she ran away from the facility on Jan. 18, prompting the South Salt Lake police to issue an endangered person alert stating she likely was with Martinez.
“He was trying to help her. We told him to call [the Department of Child and Family Services]. He felt that no one would listen to him, that he was being characterized as a pedophile,” said Barrett Martinez, who spoke with his brother about two weeks ago. “She said if he didn’t help her, she’d kill herself.”
Martinez was charged with kidnapping in the October incident. He pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a hearing this week.
Valdivia was last seen at 10 p.m. on Jan. 18 in the foster care facility. The girl was wearing an ankle monitor, which she disabled and removed. She took all of her possessions with her.
“She obviously was intent on leaving,” South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller told the newspaper.