SEATTLE – A Seattle police officer shot and critically wounded a man involved in a knife fight Tuesday as officials were working to clean out a homeless encampment known as the Jungle, authorities said.
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole told multiple media outlets that two longtime police officers participating in the sweep saw two men in an altercation and that one appeared to have a knife.
“In the process, one of the officers discharged the weapon and one of the suspects was injured,” O’Toole said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
She said the officers weren’t trying to remove the people from the area as part of the sweep and said it was a coincidence that the officers happened to observe the fight.
One man had life-threatening injuries, and another had minor wounds, the Seattle Fire Department said in a tweet. The other person apparently was injured by the knife, O’Toole said.
A Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman says one person was taken there in critical condition and the other was in satisfactory.
Authorities, including a team that investigates police use of force, are investigating, O’Toole said.
Police have not released further details, including the identities of the men wounded or of the police officers involved in the incident.
State and local officials have been working on addressing the needs of people living in unsanctioned camps in a greenbelt that runs along Interstate 5 in south Seattle for months.
The plan to clear out the area comes after a January shooting at the camp left two people dead and three wounded.
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