‘Nobody wants to shoot you’ — SPD releases bodycam video, new details from Melrose Ave ‘officer involved’ shooting

Seattle Police have released new details and officer-worn bodycam footage from the incident on Melrose Ave Tuesday night in which a reportedly suicidal man carrying a gun opened fire and was shot by officers.

The video shows a tense scene outside a Melrose Ave apartment building where the 37-year-old can be seen leaving the building carrying a pistol and later is confronted by police as he holds the weapon.

“Go ahead and shoot me,” the man appears to say. “Nobody wants to shoot you,” an officer yells back. “I just want to talk to you but I can’t talk to you with a gun in your hand.” As the officer trying to negotiate with the man yells “Do not point that gun at me,” a single shot rings out followed by a barrage of bullets as officers returned fire.

The man sustained serious injuries in the shooting and was taken to Harborview for surgery but we do not know his condition. SPD says his injuries are considered non-life-threatening. He has not yet been charged.

The officers involved in the shooting were not identified by SPD. Officers are generally placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Seattle Police provided new details on what lead to the shooting around 9:30 that night.

At 9:20 PM on March 19th, police received a 911 call from the family member of a 37-year-old man, who was in crisis and had armed himself with a handgun. The man left his apartment in the 1600 block of Melrose Avenue on foot after telling a family member he wanted police to shoot him. In footage captured at the scene by surveillance cameras and police body-worn video, the suspect can be seen leaving his apartment building, carrying a gun in his hand, at 9:27 PM before being contacted by police. Two minutes later, video from officer body-cam shows a police contact team communicating with the man, who appeared to be manipulating the slide of a handgun, and did not follow officers’ instructions to drop his weapon. “You’re gonna shoot me, because I’m not putting this gun down,” the man said. “That’s what I want.” After making that statement, the man raised his handgun and pointed it at officers.

Police say a handgun was recovered at the scene.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an independent investigation under an agreement under Initiative 940 for the investigation of law enforcement use of deadly force.


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8 thoughts on “‘Nobody wants to shoot you’ — SPD releases bodycam video, new details from Melrose Ave ‘officer involved’ shooting

  1. PLEASE in the future, if you even feel it’s essential to post a screencap from a violent video, put it behind the cut and with a warning. I get that you’re reporting news, but I should be able to visit here without seeing a shocking and terrifying image like this. There’s genuinely no reason it can’t be behind the cut. Nothing is gained by having it instantly visible from a journalistic point of view. Plenty of articles have “essential” information behind the cut.

    • Enough piling on but I do want to respond. I don’t understand the criticism — the selected still image shows the moments before the shooting and you must engage with the video to watch the recording provided by SPD. I selected the image purposefully because it shows the tense scene but is not gory or sensationally violent. I also think that image is a valuable part of the story that I want CHS readers to see. I’m not sure of any other option short of not posting this report.

      • Just to let you know, that I agree with you. There’s nothing shocking or terrifying about the image you chose. I think the OP is being overly dramatic.

        In fact there’s nothing gory in the entire video… The officer providing perspective SPD chose to show in the second half of the video is not one of the 3 who even fire at the man, he ducks for cover when the first shot is fired. You can hear what’s going on, but your view is of the sidewalk.

  2. From what I see in this video it actually looks like the police did a good job of trying to talk to him and weren’t in the “shoot to kill” mode. But I do understand this is just a small clip from one officer.

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