Seattle interstate shut after police shoot freeway spray-painter

SEATTLE Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:58am EDT

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Police shut southbound Interstate 5 in Seattle for hours on Monday after shooting a driver who had stopped to begin spray-painting the roadway and then brandished a knife when confronted, officials said.

Police received calls at about 7 p.m. (0200 GMT) that a pickup truck had swerved, blocked two lanes and then caught fire, said Washington State Patrol spokesman Cliff Pratt. State troopers rushed to the scene and as one of them and an accompanying transportation official sought to put out the blaze, another trooper approached the driver.

"Prior to that, 911 calls had this driver with some type of aerosol can spraying the freeway," Pratt said. "And just looking back there, for some reason..., there is a very large green circle right in the middle of the freeway. Have no idea why."

The suspect, a man in his 20s, took out a knife when a state trooper confronted him, Pratt said. A trooper then used a stun gun to try to subdue the man but it "had no effect", Pratt said, and police then shot and wounded him.

The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His condition was not immediately known.

An investigation was under way, Pratt said. The incident backed up traffic for miles on Interstate 5, the main interstate highway running along the U.S. West Coast.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (10)
heydeedoo wrote:
Oh great, without the green circle painted on the interstate the mother ship will have no idea where to land.

Jun 17, 2014 8:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SixthRomeo wrote:
The alleged crimes for which people are immediately executed are so petty, so minor, for the most part never anything more than misdemeanors. More people die for petty crimes than are executed under capital punishment. Something is wrong with the equation.

Jun 17, 2014 10:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Postone wrote:
The police with all their tools (and how many were there?) have to shoot people when many less lethal means are available…

It’s just typical in the past twenty years or so…

I remember on the show “Cops” they would go toe to toe with the bad guys, unless they absolutely had no choice.

It’s so much easier to shoot someone…

Jun 17, 2014 10:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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