Two people fight on the side of I-5 near Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)

Two people fight on the side of I-5 near Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)

Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

EVERETT — A road rage attack on workers along northbound I-5 ended with a state trooper shooting a man to death Thursday afternoon, shutting down the freeway and causing rush hour havoc that sprawled to Seattle, according to authorities.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the Washington State Patrol responded to a report of an angry man armed with a hammer on the shoulder of northbound I-5, north of the exit to East Marine View Drive, said Courtney O’Keefe, a spokesperson for the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team.

On the shoulder of the freeway, the suspect rammed a work vehicle and a parked lift that was operating over the slough, with two state Department of Transportation contractors on board.

According to authorities, the man attacked the road workers and a trooper. Much of the incident was captured by traffic cameras.

During the fight, a trooper shot the suspect. Law enforcement rendered aid, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office was expected to confirm his identity, as well as the cause and manner of death.

The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team responded to the scene, shutting down northbound traffic for hours. The cadre of detectives, also known as SMART, is tasked with examining police use of force.

One of the road workers suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to SMART.

No further information had been released about the trooper who fired at the man.

Traffic was backed up for miles, to the Snohomish-King county line, into the night. Roads throughout Everett and surrounding cities were also clogged.

“We ask everyone to avoid the area until the incident has been resolved,” trooper Kelsey Harding wrote in an earlier post on X.

Northbound I-5 eventually reopened around midnight.

Were you caught in Thursday evening’s massive traffic jam related to a road rage incident and police shooting on I-5? Please reach out to Sydney Jackson (714-791-8432, or Maya Tizon (425-339-3434,

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