Spokane police have released several different perspectives of a fatal officer involved shooting in downtown Spokane, Washington. Last January, Officer Mark Zimmerman initiated contact with a suspicious suspect at Ninth Avenue and Walnut around 12:30 AM. The suspect, Dexter M. Dumarce, gave Zimmerman a false name and was behaving strangely. He finally admitted he was wanted for a felony probation violation before pulling out a knife and running. The video released shows Officer Zimmerman pursue Dumarce on foot while yelling commands for him to drop the knife and stop. There are several feet of snow and the streets are pure ice as Zimmerman slips multiple times during the chase.
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Dumarce alternated between running and walking with Zimmerman following close behind shouting commands. Finally, Zimmerman pulls out a taser and tasers Dumarce but tells dispatch it was to no effect. Dumarce continues jogging down the street past parked cars as Zimmerman reloads his taser and shoots him again but for the second time there is no effect. By this time more officers have joined the pursuit and Dumarce is nearing a busy intersection. At this point in the video Dumarce walks up to a car stopped at the light. Fearing that the suspect will try to hijack the vehicle and potentially hurt or take hostages, an officer fires several shots into Dumarce from behind dropping him instantly to the ground just in front of the stopped van. Dumarce writhes on the ground as officers call that shots have been fired to dispatch. Dumarce was given treatment at the scene but later died of his injuries.
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Lt. Steve Wohl of Spokane Police said in an interview "He felt that both officers’ and citizens’ lives were in danger." Lt. Wohl stated that the officers tried to end the situation safely, "the officers multiple times put themselves in dangerous situations, they continued to do that for several minutes.” In April, the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office ruled that the shooting was justified saying "Dumarce presented a serious and immediate threat to officers and to the safety of others who were stopped at the traffic light". The deceased perpetrator, Dexter M. Dumarce, was a 33-year-old registered sex offender with a long record of criminal history.
It is clear the officers showed extreme restraint given the extended foot chase, multiple warnings, a non-lethal taser attempt that had ZERO effects in stopping him. But I am sure, somewhere, touchy-feely sensitive people only see it as a LEO used a gun.