SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police are talking about how they can keep their officers safe and their suspects alive at the same time.
Video footage shows a naked man with a knife threatening police and yelling “shoot me.”
The man, named Robert, was trying to initiate a suicide by cop, but in this case, police didn't have to shoot Robert with bullets. Instead, one of their officers was armed with a 40 millimeter less-than-lethal weapon that fires a piece of hard foam really, really fast.
“It's going to hurt, it's going to sting, but it's going to be non-lethal,” said Lt. Rob Boothe. “And it allows us to control a person, and modify their behavior, without putting them or the public at greater risk.”
In Robert's case, Officer Jeremy Howell was carrying that less-than-lethal gun. Officer Kyle Yrigollen brought the lethal gun, his AR-15, upstairs when he heard that Robert was allegedly waving a knife around.
Officers evacuated people from nearby apartments and tried to talk Robert into giving himself up. Spokane police say he told them to kill him instead.
Despite commands to disarm himself, watch as Robert comes out of his apartment with the knife above his head and charges the officers.
The foam round hits Robert in the pelvis, taking him to the ground, just seconds before Yrigollen was about to fire his rifle that shoots very real bullets.
Police say the taser was ineffective that day, but the less-lethal foam found its mark. Robert was not permanently hurt and was taken into custody.