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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane police shoot man reportedly threatening people with machete

From staff reports

A Spokane police officer shot a man allegedly armed with a machete early Sunday morning on the east end of downtown.

The man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and no officers were injured, Officer Teresa Fuller, police spokeswoman, said in a news release.

The man, who reportedly had threatened people on the street with the machete, was shot as he tried to enter an apartment building and Zola, a bar and live music venue at 22 W. Main Ave., Fuller said.

The shooting occurred just hours before tens of thousands of people gathered downtown Sunday for the 40th Bloomsday run, and two days after Spokane police shot and killed a knife-wielding man outside the House of Charity shelter in downtown.

Just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday, with downtown bars packed, a Spokane police lieutenant working bar patrol was approached by two employees from a bar in the 200 block of North Division Street. They said they had been approached by a man with a machete, and the man was walking westbound on Main from Division.

The lieutenant then was flagged down by two people who reported the man with the machete chased and threatened them. The lieutenant caught up with the man in front of Zola, where the doorman said the man had told him he wanted police to shoot him.

More officers arrived, and one tried unsuccessfully to use a Taser to subdue the man. The man made several statements about police shooting him as he placed the machete to his throat and stomach, police said.

A crowd gathered and shouted profanities at officers and the man grew more upset, according to police. Washington State Patrol troopers were called in to help control the growing crowd.

Police tried to negotiate with the man as he sat on the ground for about 20 minutes. The man then rose to his feet and opened a door that officers thought was 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 40 mm foam baton. Another officer fired a firearm, striking the subject once. This prevented the man from entering the building, police said.

Officers moved in and took the man, still struggling, into custody, police said. Medics provided aid on the scene before the man was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team is investigating the incident. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency.

Officers were equipped with body cameras, and any footage will be reviewed by investigators.

Investigators also are asking for anyone who witnessed or made a video of the incident, including the two civilians who said they were being chased by the man, to call Crime Check.