Prosecutor's Office: Spokane Police Officers justified in May sh - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Prosecutor's Office: Spokane Police Officers justified in May shooting

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Photo courtesy: Linda Debus McNeill Photo courtesy: Linda Debus McNeill
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane County Prosecutor's Office has ruled three officers were justified in their use of deadly force while trying to arrest Terrance Wallette back in May. 

Wallette checked into the emergency room at Holy Family Hospital on the afternoon of May 7, 2017 for a possible overdose. While in the ER, Wallette pulled a knife on an employee and fled the hospital in a blue Dodge Intrepid. The Prosecutor's Office says Wallette nearly hit a pedestrian with his car in the area of Cincinnati and Lacrosse. 

RELATED: Video surfaces of officer involved shooting near Perry and Dalton

Nearly two hours later, Spokane Police Lieutenant Dave McCabe saw the Dodge go through a stop sign. There was a short pursuit, but it was quickly terminated for safety reasons by Lt. McCabe. Later, Lt. McCabe saw the abandoned Dodge and the man he recognized as the driver walking down the road wearing a hospital gown with pants underneath. 

After yelling at Wallette to come talk to him, Wallette ran away and a foot pursuit ensued. Lt. McCabe saw Wallette threaten two people and advised him numerous times to top and get on the ground. 

RELATED: Family, girlfriend of man shot by Spokane Police speak to KHQ

As more officers arrived, Wallette stated he was not going back to prison and began to cut himself in the stomach and left wrist. One officer deployed his Taser in an attempt to stop Wallette from hurting himself, but it was ineffective and Wallette kept running. While that officer was trying to reload his Taser, Officer Ronald Van Tassel saw Wallette raise the knife and move toward the other officer. Van Tassel fired a shot at Wallette, who then turned toward Van Tassel and Lt. McCabe again with the knife raised. Additional shots were then fired by McCabe and Officer Julian Cedeno. 

Wallette went to the ground and officers moved in to provide medical aid. Medics then arrived and took Wallette to a hospital where he was treated. He survived his injuries. 

"Under these circumstances, it was reasonable for Officers Van Tassel, Cedeno, and Lt McCabe to use deadly force," the Prosecutor's Office said. "Wallette presented a serious and immediate threat to officers as he moved toward them and to the safety of others if he escaped from the immediate vicinity and had an opportunity to confront other citizens with the knife."

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