One witness said the man had been shot with a Taser, but it had no apparent effect on him.
Seattle police took a knife-wielding man into custody after he held officers at bay for about two hours in the 1200 block of Third Avenue in downtown.
No injuries were reported, but police had cleared the area around Third Avenue and University Street and evacuated some businesses. Traffic and some King County Metro Transit buses were rerouted, causing a major traffic headache.
Police say the man surrendered the knife before he was taken into custody before 4:30 p.m.
Police spent about two hours trying to negotiate with the man as he slowly paced in the middle of the street and repeatedly asked officers to shoot him.
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Chris Eaton, who works in a law office in the 1200 block of Third Avenue, said he could see the man from an upper-floor window. He said he was able to hear the man shouting. He said law-enforcement officers were keeping their distance from the man.
“It’s a really big berth they’re giving him. There’s 40-plus police officers, maybe more, and multiple SWAT officers on all sides, They’re all heavily armed, with full body armor,” Eaton said during the incident.
The man could be seen carrying a knife, Eaton said.
“He was moving around, brandishing it,” Eaton said.
Chase McAlpine was eating lunch at the World Fresh restaurant when police lights caught his attention.
“The whole street was filled with police cars,” he said, and officers had their weapons trained on someone.
“There was a guy walking out with a knife in hand just screaming … he just kept yelling, ‘Pull it, pull it, pull it,’ ” McAlpine said.
“He said something about how he was going to die tonight,” McAlpine said.
He said three times police shot the man with Tasers, but they seemed not to have had any effect.
“He had all kinds of string hanging off of him,” that had been fired from Tasers, McAlpine said. “He had one in the back of his leg and another in his arm … I couldn’t believe it.”
McAlpine said the situation was tense.
“For a few minutes, I thought I might have to watch the guy get shot,” McAlpine said.
The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center for an evaluation.