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Officers Use Crisis Training, Less-Lethal Tools When Teen With Knife Tries to Force Police to Shoot Him

Seattle police used crisis intervention training, negotiation tactics, and less-lethal tools to take a 17-year-old into custody Wednesday after he armed himself with a knife and confronted officers outside his family’s Greenwood home.


The knife recovered in the incident.


Police received a call just before 4 PM from the teen’s family, who said the boy was distraught, possibly on narcotics, and was wielding an 8-inch butcher’s knife.

Officers arrived at the scene in the 9000 block of Evanston Avenue N., blocked off roads, and attempted to contact the young man.

When police tried to get him to drop the knife, he approached officers while armed and gestured as if he was going to throw his knife. Officers believed the teen was attempting to force them to shoot him in self-defense. They did not open fire.

SPD negotiators and patrol officers–who have all received crisis intervention training–continued their attempts to get the teen to surrender, but he grew increasingly agitated as the incident wore on.

Around 4:40 PM, the teen took off running through the neighborhood, where officers had lined the surrounding blocks.

A specially-trained officer from the University of Washington Police Department, who had joined SPD at the scene, fired two beanbag rounds from a less-lethal shotgun, striking the teen. He then dropped his knife, enabling officers to safely take him into custody.

Seattle Fire Department medics and SPD’s Force Investigation Team responded to the scene–as per department policy–and will review the incident. The teen was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation. He was not seriously injured in the incident.