The Thurston County Coroner has identified the man shot by the State Patrol on Interstate 5 as a 22-year-old National Guard reservist; witnesses says troopers told the man “Don’t do it ... drop it!” before they fired.
The Thurston County Coroner’s Office has identified the Kent man shot and killed by a state trooper Saturday as 22-year-old Michael Anthony Rude, a reservist with the Washington National Guard.
Rude was shot alongside Interstate 5 in Lacey on Saturday, about a half-hour after authorities say he called 911 to say he had a knife and wanted to attack any police officer who pulled him over.
The incident began at 6:13 a.m. when the man called 911 while driving along Highway 167 in King County, according to the State Patrol. He told a dispatcher he was suicidal, had a knife, was driving unsafely and speeding on the highway and wanted to attack an officer, according to the State Patrol.
The man headed south, and troopers located a Dodge Charger on southbound I-5, near the Joint Base Lewis-McChord main gate. They stopped the car on I-5 near Carpenter Road in Lacey, at 6:48 a.m.
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According to the State Patrol, the man got out of the car and advanced on troopers with a knife, and one of three or four troopers at the scene fired his weapon.
Michael Wilson, a passer-by who witnessed the shooting from his vehicle, said Rude had followed him for several miles on the highway at about 75 to 80 mph. He said Rude eventually passed him while talking on his cellphone.
Wilson said troopers passed him and followed Rude.
“I saw they were out of their cars with guns drawn and the shots were fired,” said the 34-year-old Wilson, who lives in Spanaway.
In a video Wilson filmed from his vehicle, seconds after the shooting, Rude’s body is seen lying next to the right front tire of an unmarked law-enforcement vehicle with armed troopers surrounding him.
One can be heard say, “He’s still moving.”
“I had my window rolled down and I heard them say, ‘Let’s get the knife,’ and they pointed away from the body,” Wilson said. The moment can be seen on the video he shot on his cellphone as he drove by.
According to his Facebook page, Rude worked as a mail handler at the U.S. Postal Service and Curlew Job Corps. He attended Highline High School. Several grieving family members said they weren’t ready to talk about Rude.
The State Patrol did not provide other details, such as what might have been involved in the search for the man after he called 911, whether he was ordered to get out of his car or how far he was from the troopers when he was shot. Rude died at the scene.
The trooper who shot Rude has been with the State Patrol for 18 years and has been placed on administrative leave, Trooper Brooke Bova said.
Steven Davis, 42, of Graham, told The Olympian he saw a car speed past him and that traffic was stopped when he got near Carpenter Road. Davis said he was about four or five cars away from the man’s car as troopers surrounded it. He rolled down his window, and heard, “Don’t do it don’t do it, drop it, drop it.”
An autopsy likely will be conducted Monday or Tuesday, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said.
The Olympia Police Department will lead the investigation, aided by the multiagency Thurston County Critical Incident Investigation Team.