Police shoot man after he wields sword

2006-05-22

FORKS -- A 45-year-old man who police said attacked police cars with a sword and threatened officers with what they said was a handgun was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Sunday after officers shot him multiple times. Forks police declined to identify the man or the officers who shot him.

The bizarre events began at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday, when two Forks police officers assisted a Clallam County sheriff's deputy in the Elk Creek area following an earlier pursuit. According to the officers, the man got out of a blue 1996 Subaru armed carrying a 3-foot sword and nunchucks, which are hardwood sticks joined by a short chain used in the martial arts.

The man used the sword to break the light bar and tail lights of the Forks police vehicle and damage the light bar and a tail light of the sheriff's car, officers said.

Allegedly wanted to be shot

Police said he then damaged the hood of the sheriff's cruiser with the nunchucks and advanced toward the deputy, saying he wanted officers to shoot him in the head.

While one deputy backed off, another tried to incapacitate the man with a Taser, police said. The electronic device malfunctioned, allowing the man to return to his Subaru and flee, officers said. Forks police, deputies and the Washington State Patrol all searched for the man. Post-midnight alerts were broadcast to police radios throughout the region by a PenCom dispatcher.

He was spotted about 1 a.m. Sunday driving north on Spartan Avenue in Forks. Officers chased him east on Calawah Way, where he pulled onto the shoulder of the road and stopped. Officers said he left his car carrying the sword and holding a dark object in his other hand.

Ordered to stop

Police said he charged the Forks officers, who ordered him to stop. He continued advancing and raised what the officers identified as a handgun, pointing it at one of the officers. Both officers fired several times, hitting the man, according to police. He was taken by ambulance to Forks Community Hospital, then to William R. Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles, from which he was flown to Harborview.

Forks police said Sunday afternoon that none of his injuries appeared to be life threatening. The Forks officers were routinely placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated. Forks police said they expected to book the man on several felony charges.

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