SPOKANE, Wash. - One man was killed by a Spokane Police officer early Sunday morning at Fifth and Walnut when he allegedly threatened officers with a knife, and may have even been trying to carjack a driver who had stopped at the intersection.
The man who led police on a five block foot pursuit was cornered by officers, and was then shot when it allegedly looked like he was going to try to escape by car jacking somebody's car.
The incident started about 12:30 p.m. Sunday morning when a patrol officer saw a man walking down the street in zero degree weather wearing a backpack.
The officer wanted to make sure the guy wasn't prowling on cars, but the suspect confirmed the patrolman's suspicions.
Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl stated, “one of our officers checked out with a suspicious person in the Cannon Hill area, Ninth and Adams, [and] during the course of that contact, the subject displayed a knife then ended up fleeing from the officer.”
The officer radioed for backup and patrolmen cut off the suspect's avenue of escape at Fifth and Walnut. The man wouldn't surrender and refused to put down the knife.
While one officer readied an AR-15, others tried to disarm the man with their tasers. In video footage of the scene after the incident, you can see detectives winding up taser wires.
“And during the course of this encounter as well, we had multiple officers on scene and we also had multiple deployments of the taser as well. And the taser was not effective during the time it was deployed in any of these instances,” said Meidl.
The suspect's cold weather clothing may have prevented the police tasers from ending the armed standoff.
Meanwhile, several people had driven into the intersection and when it appeared their safety was at risk, a lone officer opened fire.
“Shots were fired by an officer at the suspect, the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Meidl.
There is body camera video of this incident. The dead man's identity has not been released, although he does have a significant arrest record including property crimes.”