Monday, January 16, 2017

Few details yet in fatal Spokane police shooting

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 8:09 AM

Shortly after 12:30 am Sunday, a man was shot and killed by a Spokane police officer.

Neither the name of the deceased man nor the name of the officer have been released. Few details are available at this point, but here's what we know so far from police:

A Spokane police officer contacted a man at 9th and Adams Street in the Cannon Hill area. The man pulled a knife on the officer and ran. The foot chase ended at 5th and Walnut, where multiple officers fired Tasers at the man, according to a news release from the Spokane Police Department. The Tasers did not work, and at least one officer fired at the man, Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl told reporters Sunday afternoon. Meidl added that the man had interacted with law enforcement in the past.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene after an EMT-certified officer gave medical aid. Meidl said at least five officers were in the area when the shots were fired, and no officers were seriously injured.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office will investigate the shooting, which includes reviewing body camera footage and interviewing officers and other witnesses.

Although we don't know specific details of why the officer initially approached the man, Meidl emphasized that the officer was patrolling in a "hot spot" — an area the police focus their resources in an attempt to reduce the relatively high level of crime. At any one time, SPD focuses on seven hot spots throughout the city, Meidl said.

"We ask our officers to be proactive in those areas," Meild said. "And this is one of those cases where the officer was being proactive in attempting to drive down break-ins in that area. It's a very unfortunate circumstance. It's certainly not the way we would have liked to see the situation go, but we are going to do our best efforts to keep the community safe as well."

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Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.