Officers tried to talk to the man but he started to approach them with the knife. One of the officers then used a Taser on the man, which was ineffective, and the man continued toward the officers, according to police.
Two officers then fired at the man, who was struck by two bullets and died at the scene, police said, despite aid from medics who were staged nearby. A knife was found next to the man’s body after the shooting, police said.
Some people in the area afterward became confrontational and police called for all available officers to respond. No one was injured as the scene was brought under control, but officers arrested two people. One was arrested for assault on an officer and one for pedestrian interference. Both were booked into Spokane County Jail.
David Snyder, who said he was staying at the shelter and saw what happened, told The Spokesman-Review he didn’t believe officers needed to shoot the man, but he acknowledged the man was “in a rage” and that “he charged, no doubt.”
“He wanted them to kill him,” Snyder said. “They were trying to make him stand down.”
Snyder said the man was homeless and staying at the shelter.
The medical examiner’s office will identify the man and cause of death.
Police said the three officers at the scene were wearing body cameras and the footage will be reviewed by investigators.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation with assistance from other eastern Washington agencies.