Spokane, WA – A man’s “suicide by cop” plan was thwarted on Dec. 8, 2017, when officers with the Spokane Police Department were able to use less-lethal equipment to subdue him (video below).
Officers were called to an apartment building after Robert brandished a knife and began shattering windows. Police said that the man started to chase other residents through the hallways, resulting in an evacuation of nearby apartment units.
Officers attempted to speak with Robert by phone, but he demanded that police kill him.
As it became increasingly clear that verbal commands and de-escalation tactics were not going to change Robert’s mind, the officers used the rare luxury of time to develop a plan that they hoped would lead to a safe resolution.
“When he exited that room, we already had a game plan in place – that we were going to try and deploy our less-lethal, which would be the 40 millimeter. Also, a Taser and try to stop him before he approached us at all,” Officer Kyle Yrigollen told My Spokane.
In addition, Officer Yrigollen was armed an AR-15, in the event the less-lethal options failed to stop the threat.
In the video, a naked Robert stormed out of his apartment towards officers with a knife over his head, as he screamed at them to shoot him.
The Taser was ineffective, police said.
Officer Jeremy Howe then fired a single round from the 40 millimeter launcher, which sent a hard foam round into Robert’s pelvis.
He immediately collapsed to the ground in a fetal position.
“The suspect, he was upset we didn’t shoot him,” Officer Yrigollen said.
Robert was not seriously injured, although the video made it quite clear that the 40 millimeter round packed a punch.
“It’s going to hurt. It’s going to sting, but it’s going to be less-lethal and it’s going to allow us to control a person, modify their behavior without putting them or the public at greater risk,” Lieutenant Rob Boothe said. “Police work has been described as nothing but seconds and inches, and what this allows us to do is create a few more seconds to gain a few more inches to control somebody, and to maintain the safety of our public."
You can see the video of the incident below: