Friend of Cheney man killed by police believes officers used excessive force

A friend of 40-year-old Steve Anderson, the man shot and killed by police outside a Cheney grocery store, said he believes officers used excessive force.

Cheney Police and Eastern Washington University Police responded to a disorderly person near Mitchell’s Harvest Foods around 11:40 p.m. Monday. Officers found Anderson armed with a knife.

“He didn’t obey their orders to drop the knife. He aggressed toward them, they fired their weapons,” said Cheney Police captain Richard Beghtal.

John Wilson had been Anderson’s best friend since 1st grade. They talked on the phone two hours before Anderson died.

“He seemed to be in good spirits. We were just having a normal conversation…” Wilson said.

Anderson lived in Cheney and was the father of two young children. Wilson described him as the Jack of all trades and someone who would always stand up for people.

“Steve was a very kind hearted person,” Wilson said. He was shocked and confused when he learned his best friend had been shot by police.

“None of it fits. None of it makes any sense at all. I don’t understand this,” Wilson said. He does believe Anderson had a knife on him.

“He had a knife collection, ever since we were little kids, he liked knives. He always had a knife on him.”

But Wilson doesn’t think his friend would ever use a knife to hurt anyone, especially a police officer.

“I feel like there definitely needs to be an investigation done, it’s not only way outside of Steve’s character, but also it seems like excessive force,” Anderson said. “I mean, the guy just had a knife, and there’s three police, I mean haven’t they heard of sandbags or rubber bullets..?”

Wilson created a GoFundMe account to pay for Anderson’s memorial costs. Proceeds will benefit his two children.

A search of court records showed Anderson had been investigated for burglary and domestic violence in the past.

The three Cheney officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave – which is standard protocol during an officer involved shooting investigation.