The man was firing shots from a boat toward the shore late Saturday, leading to a ferry-service shutdown, evacuations and finally, an early morning confrontation with police.
A SWAT team shot and killed a man who for hours had fired shots from a boat in Eagle Harbor early Sunday, prompting residents to shelter in place and the cancellation of ferry services, according to Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner.
Police had responded to reports of shots fired around 8:30 p.m. and found a man apparently armed with a rifle firing at the shore and then at officers, Hamner said.
Nobody was hit, he said.
Areas along the shoreline were evacuated and people in the area were told to stay inside, the chief said. Ferry service between Seattle and Bainbridge Island was shut down, and about 10:20 p.m., the fire department tweeted, “Those who live on the shore should shelter in place and avoid windows.”
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City spokesman Kellie Stickney said the incident took place near a Washington State Ferries repair yard, adjacent to the ferry terminal.
The shooting prompted a massive law enforcement response, including local law enforcement agencies, the King County sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter, the Kitsap Regional SWAT team, the Coast Guard and the FBI, he said.
The gunfire lasted about two hours, KOMO TV reported, citing witnesses.
Hamner said that “after hours of working to end the incident peacefully,” members of the Kitsap County Regional SWAT team boarded boats belonging to the Kitsap County Sherriff and the Bainbridge Island Police Department and approached the suspect’s vessel.
Hamner said the man, described by police as a male white in his 30s, pointed a gun at the officers and was shot. The chief said there were no other injuries.
Witnesses told KOMO that the man stripped naked at one point and was wandering in and out of the hold on the boat. One witness, who was watching the incident from another boat through binoculars, told The Seattle Times that the man appeared to be armed with two rifles.
“He was just firing randomly,” said Assistant Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Luke Carpenter.
As the sheriff’s helicopter hovered overhead, police used flash bangs and some sort of smoking devices to try to get the gunman to surrender, KOMO reported, citing witnesses at the scene.
The man appeared on the boat’s deck naked about 12:30 a.m., and got into a dinghy behind the boat, according to a KOMO photographer at the scene. The gunman then climbed back into the cabin of the main boat, came out with a gun and aimed it at officers, the photographer said. Police opened fire, striking the man.
The chief said an investigation is being conducted by the Washington State Patrol and the Kitsap County Incident Response Team.