EVERETT — Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man who reportedly was suicidal and had a knife Saturday night at an apartment south of Everett, according to the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team.
Deputies were dispatched around 7:45 p.m. to an apartment in the 100 block of 124th Street SE after reports from a family member that a man was acting suicidal. The officers were told the 44-year-old had already stabbed himself.
When deputies arrived, the man advanced toward them, according to a statement by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, called SMART, a county-wide task force of detectives assigned to investigate cases in which police use potentially fatal force.
Deputies fired a pepper ball gun and hit him, but “the man continued to advance, and shots were fired,” according to the SMART statement. A knife was recovered from the scene by detectives, who were investigating the shooting and its sequence of events.
Deputies provided aid to the man, and medics from South County Fire transported him to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where he died.
The Snohomish County medical examiner will determine the identity of the man and the cause of his death.
This is the second shooting that SMART has been involved in this year. In May, Everett police reportedly exchanged gunfire with Jeff Phebus, who is accused of shooting and killing his wife. Phebus was hit with a less-than-lethal round and survived his injuries.
Last year, SMART investigated seven cases in which police used potentially fatal force. The results of SMART’s investigations are forwarded to Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell, who determines whether a shooting is lawful and if charges will be filed.
Two Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a death. The deputy who fired the pepper ball gun has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014 and has seven years experience in law enforcement. The deputy who shot his firearm joined the Sheriff’s Office in July and has four years in law enforcement.
It can take months before a SMART case is forwarded to the prosecutor’s office. At that point, much of the investigation becomes public record.
Herald reporter Ben Watanabe contributed to this report.