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Spokane police: Officers shoot, kill man after he held knife to toddler

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 24, 2022

Spokane Police responded Monday afternoon to a man they say held a knife to an infant’s throat on the 2400 block of East Desmet Avenue. He was shot and killed by two officers, the police chief said.  (Sydney Brown / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Police responded Monday afternoon to a man they say held a knife to an infant’s throat on the 2400 block of East Desmet Avenue. He was shot and killed by two officers, the police chief said. (Sydney Brown / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane police officers shot and killed a man after they say he held a knife to a toddler’s throat Monday afternoon.

Spokane police Chief Craig Meidl said the toddler was uninjured in the shooting, which occurred on the 2400 block of East Desmet Avenue.

The man, whose name and age were not released as of Monday evening, was treated at the hospital where he died of his injuries, Meidl said.

Police responded following a call at 12:48 p.m. from a woman who said she believed her child had been killed, Meidl said. Additional 911 calls indicated some sort of domestic violence situation in which at least one person appeared injured, according to the police department.

Officers arrived to find the suspect holding a knife to the toddler’s neck, according to the police department. Meidl said two officers fired their weapons to end the threat.

Around 2:30 p.m. Monday, Meidl said it was too early to say whether drugs or alcohol played a role.

It was also too early to know what relationship the suspect had to the caller or the infant, Meidl said.

“I need to stress this is all preliminary information, obviously subject to change,” Meidl said. “We’re at the very beginning stages of this investigation.”

No further details about the response were provided in a 7 p.m. update from the police department.

Police said the officers involved will be identified in the coming days. The police department has placed the involved officers on administrative leave.

Spokane police said Monday the Spokane Independent Investigative Response Team – formed of representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies – will handle the investigation moving forward, as per officer-involved shooting protocol. The Washington State Patrol will serve as this investigation’s managing agency.

Spokane police will not be involved in the investigation, according to the police department.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol were also on scene, Meidl said. The 2400 block of Desmet was closed for several hours amid the investigation.

Meidl said he did not believe the toddler would be taken into Child Protective Services.

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