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Originally published Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 7:55 AM

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Bellevue police shoot and kill man with knife

Bellevue police officers shot and killed a man they say confronted them with a large butcher knife early Thursday morning.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Bellevue police officers shot and killed a man they say confronted them with a large butcher knife early Thursday morning.

The 25-year-old Bellevue man apparently told a clerk at a Chevron station in the 1600 block of Bellevue Way Southeast to call 911 because he was taking the gas station hostage, said Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate.

He refused to let two employees and two customers leave, but walked outside when police arrived around 2:35 a.m., she said.

The man advanced toward two officers as they came around the south side of the building — holding the knife up in an overhand grip and moving it as he pointed the blade at the officers, Iafrate said.

A third officer, who was closer to Bellevue Way, "could see him walking toward the officers as they came around the corner and yelled: 'He's got a knife — he's coming toward you,' " Iafrate said. "It all happened really fast."

The two officers fired their service weapons, killing the man, she said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

One of the officers who fired is 31 and has been with Bellevue police for four years; the other is 27 and was hired two years ago, but previously worked for another law-enforcement agency, Iafrate said.

Both have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine after an officer-involved shooting.

A fourth officer was on the north side of the building at the time of the shooting, she said.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office is still trying to notify the man's family of his death, Iafrate said. She declined to say how many times the man was shot.

Mike Winters, the manager at the 24-hour gas station, said he turned surveillance video over to police.

Bernice Nurse, who lives on the other side of a greenbelt across Bellevue Way from the Chevron station, threw on sweats and sneakers Thursday morning and went into the station's convenience store to find out what had happened.

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Her dogs started barking around 2:30 a.m., waking her up. Soon after, "I heard eight shots — boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, one right after another," said Nurse, who is retired.

"It was scary," she said. "I've never been that close to gunfire in my life."

The shots were so loud, "it was like it was right in my own backyard," Nurse said.

Hours later, Nurse said, her 16-year-old stepson called to tell her that Bellevue Way was still shut down and he had to detour around the scene to get to school. He watched as investigators loaded a body bag into a van.

The last officer-involved shooting in Bellevue was in July 2009, when 61-year-old John Pebles was killed by police responding to a domestic-violence call. Pebles had confronted the officers with a knife before the shooting in a gas station parking lot, police said.

Seattle Times staff reporter Susan Gilmore contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.

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