Ofc. Teresa Fuller
Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 4:49 a.m.
Spokane Police officers were involved in an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) incident tonight. One officer fired their service weapon striking the subject.
No officers were injured during this incident.
The incident is being investigated by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response (SIRR) Team.
This morning, May 1, 2016, just after 12:30am, a Spokane Police lieutenant working bar patrol downtown was approached by two employees from a bar in the 200 block of north Division. The employees reported they had been approached by a male with a machete who was currently westbound on foot on Main from Division. This was a very busy time of night for that area, given it was bar closing time, and the fact it was the night before a major Spokane event.
After being contacted by the employees, the lieutenant was flagged down by two citizens who reported the male with the machete was chasing and threatening them. The lieutenant caught up with the subject who had the machete in front of Zola at 22 W. Main. The doorman at Zola advised the lieutenant the subject had told him he wanted police to shoot him.
Additional officers arrived on scene and were able to partially contain the male who was still holding the machete. Upon the initial contact, one officer attempted a Taser deployment, but it was unsuccessful. The male made several statements about police shooting him as he placed the machete to his throat and stomach. As officers were attempting to de-escalate the situation, a crowd started to gather and shout profanities at officers. This caused the male to become upset all over again. Additional resources, including Troopers from the Washington State Patrol, were called in to help control the growing crowd.
After approximately 20 minutes of attempting to negotiate with the subject, who had been sitting on the ground, he rose to his feet and opened a door officers believed to be locked. The door led into a foyer of an occupied apartment building. At that point three officers fired blunt impact munitions; two used bean bag rounds and one used a 40mm foam baton. An additional officer did fire a firearm, striking the subject once. This prevented the subject from entering the building and accessing Zola and apartments on the top floor.
Once on the ground, officers moved in and took the male, still actively struggling with officers, into custody. Medical aid was rendered almost immediately as medics had already staged nearby. The subject was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Officers on scene were equipped with body worn cameras. Any footage captured by the body cameras, as well as any captured by cameras in the area, will be reviewed by investigators.
Investigators are asking for anyone who witnessed or took video footage this incident, in particular the two civilians who originally approached the lieutenant to report being chased by the male, call Crime Check and provide their information so investigators can interview them in the coming days.
The Officer Involved Protocol was enacted. The SIRR Team is on-scene investigating the incident. The SIRR Team is comprised of multiple agencies in eastern Washington, including the Spokane Police Department, the Washington State Patrol and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
This incident is not expected to have an impact on tomorrow’s festivities as it is outside the area utilized for the race.