Police shot a man who was stabbing himself and reportedly threatening others with a knife Sunday evening in northeast Spokane.
The incident began about 6 p.m. when police received reports of a reckless driver.
Officers located the driver quickly, police Chief Craig Meidl said at an evening news conference. But the man, who reportedly was wearing a hospital gown, soon stopped his car at Fairview Avenue and Perry Street, adjacent to Gonzaga Prep, and fled on foot.
“One of the officers did indicate over the radio as this individual was running away and while armed with a knife that he was going after some neighbors,” Meidl said.
Linda McNeill, who lives on the corner of Perry and Dalton Avenue across the street from Gonzaga Prep, was watching TV in her living room when, she said, she heard shouting outside. She said she looked out her window and saw neighbors yelling at the man.
“The guy was pretty belligerent at that point,” she said.
When police officers approached him on the sidewalk near her front lawn, she said, he started repeatedly stabbing himself in the torso, leaving a pool of blood on the sidewalk.
“Police came up to him and the guy kept telling them, ‘Shoot me, just shoot me. I’m not going to prison for life,’ ” she said. “The officer said, ‘I’m not going to do that.’ ”
She said when a second officer approached, the man took off running southbound on Perry Street, before officers cornered him. It was then that officers deployed a stun gun, “but it didn’t do anything,” McNeill said.
“That’s when he went at them with a knife,” she said. “And that’s when they shot him.”
The man was shot “multiple times” in the chest by officers when he was about “7 or 8 feet away from them with the knife drawn.” In a news release, police confirmed he was shot by three officers on the corner of Perry and Dalton.
The man was taken to a hospital and was in surgery Sunday evening, Meidl said. No other injuries were reported.
Police said late Sunday that the man’s condition was stable. His identity has not been released.
Body cameras worn by officers captured the incident and will be used in the investigation, which is being led by the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team.
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