An Aberdeen police officer shot at, but did not hit, a man who was armed with a knife and moving toward officers in the parking lot of the police station Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from Undersheriff Brad Johansson with the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, which is helping handle the investigation.
A 28-year-old man who had been pounding on the windows of the station and appeared to be on drugs, was hit with a taser charge during the incident and fell. He is now under arrest for attempted assault in the second degree after being treated for a head wound as a result of the fall.
The statement from the Sheriff’s Office offered this account.
“Witnesses describe that the suspect appeared to be under the influence of drugs prior to approaching the officers in the police department parking lot. The suspect pounded on the windows of the police station and was pacing back and forth yelling in the police department parking lot. Several Aberdeen officers came out of the building to see what was going on. Officers describe that the male was armed with a large knife when he directed his attention towards the officers and came at them with the knife. It appears that one officer fired his pistol and a different officer discharged a Taser at nearly the same time. The suspect fell to the ground where he was taken into custody and the officers rendered first aid until medics arrived.”
Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate had officers secure the scene and asked for assistance from the Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation. The Sheriff’s Office will lead the investigation with help from the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team representing the sheriff’s offices in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Thurston and Pacific counties, along with the Washington State Patrol.
The officer who fired his weapon was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The statement from Johansson said the officer has about 26 years of law enforcement experience.
Numerous Aberdeen officers were present during the incident in the police station parking lot. Detectives from the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team interviewed officers and civilians who had information or witnessed what happened. Those who witnessed the incident of have information that may be valuable to the case should contact Detective Sergeant Paul Logan at the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office. 360-964-1751. The case is still under active investigation.