Spokane police released multiple body camera videos Wednesday showing the blockslong chase of Dexter M. Dumarce, who was carrying a knife, before he was shot and killed at Fifth Avenue and Walnut Street in January.
Officer Mark Zimmerman approached Dumarce at Ninth Avenue and Walnut around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 5, because, police say, he was acting suspicious. Dumarce gave a false name and date of birth before admitting that he was wanted on a felony probation violation warrant. He pulled a knife and ran, with Zimmerman in pursuit.
The footage shows Zimmerman slipping and falling several times on the icy streets and sliding into parked cars as the chase moves downhill. He and other officers repeatedly shout at Dumarce to stop and drop the knife, but Dumarce alternately walks and jogs while mostly ignoring officers. Zimmerman and other officers try to shock Dumarce with a Taser several times, but there was no visible reaction.
Moments before shots are fired, the video shows Dumarce, trailed by several officers, walking toward cars stopped at a red light at the Fifth and Walnut intersection, then breaking into a run. Several shots ring out and Dumarce tumbles to the ground. Zimmerman and other officers handcuff Dumarce and render first aid.
Dumarce later died of his wounds.
Cpl. Ryan Jamieson fired because Dumarce was approaching civilians, and Jamieson feared he would attempt to carjack one, said Lt. Steve Wohl. “He felt that both officers’ and citizens’ lives were in danger,” Wohl said.
The officers tried to end the situation safely, Wohl said. “The officers multiple times put themselves in dangerous situations,” he said. “They continued to do that for several minutes.”
The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office ruled the shooting justified in April. “Dumarce presented a serious and immediate threat to officers and to the safety of others who were stopped at the traffic light,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.
Zimmerman injured his left hand and wrist after he fell on the ice and was taken to a local hospital to be treated, according to police reports.
Dumarce, 33, was a registered sex offender and had a lengthy criminal history.