The fatal police shooting of a man during a traffic stop on Saturday morning resulted in the three-hour shutdown of Interstate 5 southbound in Lacey, Washington. The unnamed motorist had reportedly called 911 in the early hours of the morning and said that he wanted to commit “suicide by cop.”
Seattle-PI reports that Washington State Police received a call at 6:15 a.m. from a distraught and disturbed man they say claimed to be suicidal, requesting that the police kill him. Events that followed resulted in the police unwillingly granting the suicidal man’s request.
According to the The Olympian, following the traffic stop, the man forced officers to shoot him. Washington State Trooper Brooke Bova said that officers pulled the man over near Lacey, Washington. Bova says that the man exited the vehicle and was not complying with officers’ orders. The man reportedly had a knife and began making threatening gestures towards the police officers. Fearing for their lives, Bova says, the officers were forced to fatally shoot the suicidal man.
A witness stated that they saw 14 Washington State Patrol cars rushing to the scene of the incident.
Paramedics attempted to revive the man but they were unsuccessful and the unnamed man died later at the scene.
He said he wanted to commit "suicide by cop."https://t.co/a7p74dYF2D
— Tacoma News Tribune (@thenewstribune) July 8, 2017
Suicide by cop is a strategy used by suicidal people who are, for whatever reason, unwilling to do the deed themselves and instead put police officers in a situation where they are forced to use lethal means to protect their own safety.
Trooper Brooke Bova said that no officers were hurt during the incident.
Right lane and right shoulder open SBI5 @ Carpenter pic.twitter.com/w1gsul3vI2
— Trooper Brooke Bova (@wspd1pio) July 8, 2017
Washington state troopers had begun searching for the man immediately following the early morning phone call request. He was located soon afterwards. Officers spotted the unnamed motorist near Joint Base Lewis McChord and pulled him over on I-5 southbound in Lacey.
Interstate 5 was completely shut down from approximately 6:45 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.. The breakdown lane and a single travel lane were then opened. Officials said that they expect delays to continue worsening before getting better and that motorists should avoid that section of I-5 for the remainder of the day. I-5 NB is clear at the moment.
An investigation has begun into the incident. It is being handled by the multi-agency Thurston County Critical Investigation Team.
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