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Seattle Officer's Fatal Shooting of Homeless Carver Questioned

September 01, 2010  | 

This 3-inch folding knife was held by John T. Williams, during Monday's officer-involved shooting. Photo courtesy of Seattle PD.

Seattle police are now sorting out the details of the fatal shooting of a homeless man who was fatally shot by an officer on Monday, the Seattle Times reports.

At a news briefing on Tuesday, Chief John Diaz said he has "a lot more questions that answers" about the event. A day earlier, Officer Ian Birk fired four rounds at John T. Williams, a wood carver who had a folding knife with a 3-inch blade and a piece of wood in his hands.

The Seattle Police Department released this statement:

The officer stopped his patrol car and made contact with the man. The officer instructed the man three times to put the knife down. When the man refused to comply the officer fired several shots, fatally striking the man.

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