In updated details on the standoff in Montesano yesterday, police say the man who was shot passed away at the hospital this afternoon.
The Montesano Police Department tells KXRO that on April 16, just after 2:00 p.m., they were called to the 100 block of Academy Street in Montesano for a reported suicidal subject.
They say when officers arrived on scene they made contact with a family member and two mental health professionals already who were already there.
Officers were advised a family member had called mental health for an evaluation of a 42-year old man who was experiencing psychosis and hallucinations.
The report from police says the man was apparently hearing voices indicating he would be better off dead.
Police say officers were able to communicate with the man and he was found inside a downstairs basement storage area.
They say officers were standing outside the fenced yard but were able to talk with him through an open basement door.
According to police, as officers spoke with the man, he suddenly emerged from the basement with a sword in each hand and charged the officers.
Montesano Police say the man struck the fence with a sword directly in front of where the officers had been standing before retreating back into the basement.
They say that as other concerned family members arrived at the house, they joined the Montesano officers in attempting to talk with the man.
Police say he again emerged from the basement area and was carrying a sword in one hand and what appeared to be a “Molotov cocktail” incendiary device in the other, and made threats that he was going to burn the officers.
Officers and family members continued to try to negotiate with the man until an officer noticed a laser was being pointed at them from inside the house.
They say at that point, officers and family members pulled back from the location and requested the assistance of the Aberdeen Regional Crisis Response Team.
At approximately 3:00 p.m., the Aberdeen Regional Crisis Response Unit (CRU) responded along with crisis negotiators who are assigned to the team.
CRU consists of personnel from the Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, and Cosmopolis Police Departments as well as the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
Montesano Police say crisis response negotiators attempted to speak with the man for several hours with only intermittent communication.
They say negotiators tried to speak with the man over the phone to convince him to peacefully surrender, but he continued to hang-up on them.
According to police, CRU officers were attempting to insert a robotic camera into the residence when the man appeared again armed with a large sword.
The Montesano Police Department says “CRU officers deployed less-lethal munitions” and the man was shot by a CRU officer.
CRU officers attempted to secure the scene and render immediate first aid as they extracted the man from the house, despite the strong odor of propane gas from inside.
The Montesano Fire Department was staged nearby and subsequently transported the man to Grays Harbor Community Hospital with life threatening injuries.
According to the Grays Harbor County Coroner’s Office the man passed away at the hospital Wednesday morning.
The CRU officer involved is a member of the Hoquiam Police Department with over 10 years of service and he has been a member of the Aberdeen Regional CRU team for three years.
Police say the officer has been placed on administrative leave which is standard protocol in these incidents.
The Region-3 Critical Incident Investigation Team (CIIT) with detectives from Thurston, Mason, and Lewis County Sheriff’s Offices were called-in to investigate.
The CIIT has extensive experience in investigating officer-involved shootings or deadly force incidents.
CIIT took over the scene last night and will be conducting interviews and follow-up investigations over the next several weeks.