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Police kill man at Seattle courthouse


June 20, 2005
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Police kill man at Seattle courthouse

The Associated Press

SEATTLE- A man shouting threats and carrying what appeared to be a hand grenade was shot to death by law enforcement officers Monday in the lobby of the federal courthouse, authorities said.

Paramedics could not approach the man for more than an hour while a bomb squad checked out the backpack strapped to his chest and found it did not contain any additional explosives.

The man entered the lobby of the 23-story building shortly before noon, carrying what appeared to be a World War II-type grenade in his hand, Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said.

Witnesses said he tried to get past security, began shouting threats and was then shot when confronted by police and federal agents, police spokeswoman Christie-Lynne Bonner said. The nature of the threats was not disclosed.

Courthouse visitor Chay Adams said she watched as authorities confronted the man, who appeared to be in his mid-50s and had been sitting on a bench. He yelled, ''Don't come near me, don't come near me! Stay away, stay away!'' she said.

''He was agitated and he kept moving his hands,'' Adams told Seattle TV station KING. Officers shot the man twice, once in the head and again in the chest, and he slumped forward, Adams said.

The courthouse, a $171 million high-rise that opened last August, was evacuated and nearby streets cordoned off. The building's security features include glass walls that are blast-resistant.




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