A team of outside law enforcement officers finished up their scene investigation this morning where a deputy fatally shot a Napavine man along state Route 6 near Boistfort.
Updated at 8:52 a.m., 9:11 a.m. and 5:06 p.m.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
A Lewis County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a motorist west of Adna this morning the sheriff’s office said lunged out of his vehicle with a knife.
It happened about 12:17 a.m. on the 2300 block of state Route 6, according to the sheriff’s office.
The dead man is identified only as a 64-year-old Napavine resident.
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office: The deputy was on routine patrol when he saw a car parked in a turnout and stopped to see if the driver needed assistance.
“When the deputy approached the vehicle he observed a man with, what appeared to be, self-inflicted lacerations and bleeding heavily,” the sheriff’s office states. “When the deputy tried to speak with the man, the man lunged out of his vehicle with a large knife and charged the deputy.”
The sheriff’s office says the deputy was forced to shoot to avoid being attacked.
Aid was summoned and the motorist was pronounced dead shortly after aid arrived, according to the sheriff’s office.
A team of outside law enforcement officers was summoned to the scene near Boistfort this morning to investigate.
The unnamed deputy is a nine-year veteran of the office. He is being put on paid administrative leave as is standard procedure, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.
The incident took place at a large gravel turnout just east of the South Fork Chehalis RIver Bridge near Boistfort.
The deputy was alone when it occurred, according to Brown.
Asked what made the deputy think the man’s injuries were self inflicted, she said: Because there was nobody else around.
The sheriff’s office has no reason to believe there was anyone else involved, according to Brown.
She said the dead man’s name will be released by the Lewis County Coroner’s Office, which customarily doesn’t happen until family has been notified.
Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said his office is working to locate the next-of-kin and then confirm the identity of the deceased. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
A stretch of state Route 6 between Spooner Road and Boistfort Road was shut down until about 6:30 a.m. for the investigation, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
It was just 16 months ago when another Lewis County deputy fatally shot another Napavine man. In June 2011, Deputy Matt McKnight opened fire on a 33-year-old man he thought was armed with a knife on a residential street in Napavine.
That incident too occurred at night time, and McKnight said Steven V. Petersen began to charge him.
The deputy was cleared but last month Petersen’s family filed a lawsuit saying McKnight engaged in a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ approach to law enforcement.