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(Updated) Man Fatally Shot By Officer After Ramming Patrol Car, Fleeing Into Ravenna

The Seattle Police Department is releasing video related to an ongoing investigation into an officer-involved shooting early Friday.

The first video shows the driver of a grey Mazda ramming a patrol car on Interstate 5. The second video, recorded minutes later, shows the fatal encounter between the suspected driver of the Mazda, a 27-year-old man armed with a knife, and a Seattle police officer.

Viewers should be warned that the video contains graphic content.


Around 4 AM, a grey Mazda sedan crossed over Interstate 5 before slamming into the back of a Seattle Police patrol car.

The officer’s vehicle was knocked into the traffic median, and the Mazda sped away from the scene.

Police began searching for the car and, about a half-hour later, a patrol officer spotted a grey Mazda parked closely behind a large truck in the 6500 block of Ravenna Avenue.

The officer stopped his patrol car, checked the license plate, and approached the Mazda.

The officer moved toward the car, announced his presence and informed the driver he was being audio and video recorded by his patrol
vehicle’s camera system.

The suspect suddenly ran toward the officer, raising a 10-inch knife up over his head.

knife with scale

The officer backed away from the man and ordered him to drop the knife as the suspect ran toward him.

The officer moved to evade the armed suspect and fired several shots, fatally wounding the man.

Investigators are now reviewing the case, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. The Seattle Police Department is asking anyone with information related to this morning’s events, or anyone who may have known the 27-year-old man, Samuel Smith, to call the SPD tip line at (206) 233-5000.


Originally posted at 7:01 AM

A man was fatally shot by a Seattle police officer in the Ravenna neighborhood Friday morning after ramming another officer’s car on Interstate 5 and fleeing the scene.

Just after 4 AM this morning, an officer radioed in to report a grey car had rammed his patrol car from behind on I-5. The force of the collision sent the officer’s patrol car into the median off the Interstate and left the ground littered with debris. The suspect sped away.

Police were able to determine the suspect’s car was likely a grey Mazda from pieces of the vehicle left at the crash site.

Officers found pieces of plastic and debris near NE 65th Street and converged on the Ravenna neighborhood.

Around 4:35 AM, one officer located the grey Mazda in the 6500 block of Ravenna Avenue NE

Police currently believe the suspect exited his vehicle and was contacted by an officer. During the encounter, the officer fired, striking the man.

Medics arrived to treat the suspect, who was pronounced dead.

Investigators are now reviewing evidence and video of the deadly force incident, including whether the suspect was armed with a large knife found at the scene (pictured).IMG_0088e

The suspect appears to be an adult male. Police are working to gather additional details on his identity.

As per SPD policy, designed in collaboration with the Department of Justice, detectives from the Force Investigation Team and Crime Scene Investigators are on-scene with representatives from the Office of Professional Accountability to collect evidence and review the incident.

Per department policy, the officer involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

This is a developing incident and we will update this post with additional information as it becomes available.