Body cam video released by Spokane Police on Tuesday shows a man determined to commit suicide by cops.
On April 28, 2016, Michael Kurtz was shot to death near the House of Charity after charging officers with a large knife.
Kurtz called 911, gave his location, and told dispatchers he wanted police to kill him so he could be with his recently deceased wife in heaven. Arriving officers found Kurtz facing a brick wall asking the cops to kill him.
Shots were fired just one minute and 22 seconds later.
Chris LeQuire is the first of three officers who responded to Kurtz's call to 911 and immediately tried to talk the suicidal man down.
Partner, my name is Chris,” LeQuire says on video. “Man, what's going on with you?”
“I just want to die,” yelled Kurtz.
“Well, we just want to help you, man,” LeQuire responded.
LeQuire armed himself with a Taser, hoping he'd be able to use his critical incident training to deescalate the situation. But Kurtz, who was holding a large knife to his chest, advances on the officers who've taken cover behind their patrol cars.
The Taser was utilized, but it had no effect on Kurtz due to the darts hitting Kurtz's jacket instead of his body.
While LeQuire reloaded his Taser, police shouted at Kurtz, demanding he drop his knife. Kurtz closed within 10 feet of the officers, begging them to kill him. Multiple gunshots were fired.
An officer rushed to his patrol car for a medic bag, hoping to help Kurtz, but the man is already dead.
Investigators say after reviewing this body cam video and the statements of nearby witnesses, they think the officers did everything they could to avoid using deadly force.
“There was the use of cover, there was a use of a taser as an alternative to lethal force,” said Spokane Police Captain Tracy Meidl. “There were attempts to retreat and the use of force was the final option.”
Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell has determined the officer's use of deadly force in this situation was lawful and appropriate.