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Originally published January 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM

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Seattle police fatally shoot man wielding knife

A 37-year-old knife-wielding man was shot and killed by Seattle police at a motel on Aurora Avenue North early Wednesday after he refused to put down the knife and "advanced" on officers despite being twice zapped by a Taser.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A 37-year-old man was shot and killed by Seattle police at a motel on Aurora Avenue North early Wednesday after he refused repeated orders by police to put down a knife and "advanced" on officers despite being twice zapped by a Taser, police said.

"The suspect advanced toward the officers while brandishing the knife," the Seattle Police Department said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. "Officers were forced to shoot the suspect."

The King County Medical Examiner's Office did not release the man's name Wednesday.

A news conference to discuss the shooting has been scheduled for 10 a.m. today, police said.

Seattle police said officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in a room at Seal's Motel, 12035 Aurora Ave. N., shortly after 1 a.m. When they arrived, the officers heard a woman screaming for help from inside a room, police said.

A man inside the room with the woman refused to open the door. When the officers tried to force their way in, police said, the man sprayed them with something police described as a "chemical irritant."

As they backed away from the door, officers could hear the woman in the background yelling and warning them that the man had a knife, according to Seattle Police Department spokesman Jeff Kappel.

The officers then knocked out a window in the room, saw the suspect and confirmed he had a knife, Kappel said.

According to Kappel, officers shot the man with a 50,000-volt electrical charge from a Taser dart gun, but it had little apparent effect.

Police forced open the door, Tasered him a second time and told him repeatedly to drop the knife, he said.

"I heard the police yelling: 'Drop the knife! Drop the knife!' several times," said 54-year-old Jerry Flowers, of Wyoming, who was staying in a room two doors from where the shooting happened. "They told him multiple times to drop the knife, and it was more than one voice. At least two or three of them were yelling at him to drop it."

Four or five officers then opened fire on the man as he advanced toward them, police said.

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Flowers said he heard four or five shots in rapid succession.

Officers provided first aid to the man until paramedics arrived, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kappel said the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine after an officer-involved shooting.

The 53-year-old woman who was in the room was uninjured, police said.

Police said homicide detectives are investigating.

The fatal shooting is the second involving Seattle police since the start of the year.

On New Year's Day, Seattle police shot and killed Miles Murphy, a University of Washington history buff who they said pointed a bayonet-affixed rifle at them when they arrived to investigate a complaint of shots being fired. That shooting is still being investigated.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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