Seattle police release body-camera footage of shooting that killed man in crisis Tuesday night

Elise Takahama

Seattle Times reporter

Seattle Police on Wednesday evening released graphic material from the body cameras carried by two officers who shot a man in crisis near the downtown waterfront on Tuesday.

A police officer in the Port of Seattle alerted the Seattle Police Department about a man walking near Alaskan Way and Seneca Street at around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.

“One of my units saw a suicide issue. He’s got a knife on his neck, ”the Seattle Port Police officer told the Seattle Police Chief.

Less than a minute later, Seattle Port officials were heard saying the man cut himself and headed north on the Alaskan Way. When the Seattle police arrived, the man walked past Pier 56, according to video.

The footage shows one of the officers yelling at the man to stop walking while pointing a gun at him. The man, who the police confirmed was in crisis, continues to walk towards the officers as he waves the knife – which was later recovered at the scene – in the air.

“Do it. Do it. Please kill me,” the man yells as he approaches the officer, as the video shows.

Police said Tuesday that officials tried to stop the man using less lethal methods but that they were “ineffective”. On Wednesday, Seattle police clarified their original testimony, saying Port of Seattle police officers – not the Seattle Police Department – tried to use a less lethal tool. It is unclear what methods were tried.

Seconds later, the video shows officers shooting at him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man was not identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The officers involved were taken on administrative leave while the city police office and the SPD’s Force Investigation Team are investigating the shooting.

No further information was immediately available.

How to find help

If you have thoughts of suicide or concerns about someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will be directed to a local crisis center where professionals can guide you through a risk assessment and allocate resources in your community.