A man suffering from Alzheimers came close to being shot by police on Saturday after he reached for a gun in front of officers, who were called to the man’s home after he allegedly threatened a roommate.
Around 11:30am on September 25th, a woman called 911 from a home in the 6900 block of Ellis Ave S and said a man with dementia was inside the house, armed with a handgun.
The caller told police she was hiding inside a bedroom in the house, along with another man, and that the suspect still had a handgun tucked in his front sweatshirt pocket.
When officers arrived at the house, they spotted the man standing on the sidewalk. According to a police report, he had “an obvious sag” in his sweatshirt pocket.
“Officers began to give loud and clear verbal instructions for to put his hands up and get on the ground,” the report says. “[The suspect] did not follow instructions and began to reach for his sweatshirt pocket.”
“Just before putting his hand into his pocket,” the report says, the man “put his hands in the air. “
Officers approached the man and handcuffed him. They found a black and brown .38 caliber revolver in his sweatshirt. The gun was loaded with six hollow point rounds, according to the report.
While it might seem a bit speculative to say this man was nearly shot by SPD, officers are trained to match potential deadly force with deadly force, meaning they wouldn’t have used a less-lethal option like a Taser on a suspect with a gun or a knife.
Police located the man and woman hiding inside the home. The woman told officers she had gotten into an arguement with the suspect, who pulled a gun on her and “repeatedly called her a ‘fucking slut.”
The woman was able to get away from the man and hide in a bedroom.
The report says police arrested the suspect—who, according to the report, suffers from dementia and alzheimers disease—and booked him into the King County Jail for assault.