Witness describes car, man shot by troopers on I-5


by JANET KIM / KING 5 News and KING 5 News Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @JanetKimK5


Posted on June 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 8:30 AM

SEATTLE -- An eyewitness gave a firsthand account of what led up to an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead and traffic backed up for hours on Interstate 5 in Seattle Monday.

Eyewitness Matt Bell was headed southbound on I-5 before the highway became a parking lot on the Ship Canal Bridge. He saw the man reportedly responsible for it all.

"We were driving along like normal and out of nowhere the truck just started swerving in front of us across three lanes," said Bell.

Bell wasn't sure what was happening, but he was still compelled to get his cell phone and start recording the situation, taking note of the man before him.

"As we were driving away, we could see him getting out of his car. He was looking for something in his truck," said Bell.

Others called 911 as they described the man who would later die after he was shot by a Washington State Patrol trooper.

Caller: He's outside of his car and the cars on fire, holding something, like putting his arms up in the air. It looks terrifying.

Operator:  Okay, and is he on the right side or the left side of the freeway?

Caller:    Right in the middle.

Troopers say the man threatened them with a knife. The suspect was tasered, but when nothing happened, the suspect was shot. Investigators later found an incendiary device in his truck. They are still investigating why.

Medics had rushed the man, who officials say was in his 20s, to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.

WSP on Tuesday released the names of the two troopers involved in the shooting: Christopher Kyle, 29, and Andrew Boyer, 29. Neither has previously used deadly force.

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