One individual is dead following a police shooting around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday in downtown Poulsbo’s Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park, where a crowd had been gathering to watch the 3rd of July fireworks display.
Poulsbo Police Chief Dan Schoonmaker confirmed that shortly after 9 p.m. officers responded to reports of a man threatening people in the park.
“Several officers contacted the subject, and shortly thereafter, a struggle ensued,” reads a press release from the department. “During the struggle one officer fired his handgun, striking the subject.”
Tony Williams, an eyewitness to the scene, said he noticed cops heading towards an individual at the park.
“I saw officers headed towards the area, the guy was hopping around in the woods and then took a fighting stance, he reached for his waist band and that’s when the officer shot him three times,” Williams said.
Williams was unclear where the individual was shot, but noted he saw blood coming from the individuals face.
Another witness, Michelle Welch, said she had been sitting nearby with her family — which included small children — when the incident occurred and contested Williams’ recollection of the incident.
“There were two shots and he wasn’t apprehended in the woods,” Welch said. “He was in a crowd of people right behind my family and myself. Police came at him from multiple directions and he had a long object in his hands.”
Welch said in an interview on Thursday that she believed the man had been shot in the chest twice by the officers at the scene.
“He was bleeding around his face but I believe it was due to internal bleeding as you can see two holes in his chest as they had his shirt up after he was on the ground.”
According to the release, “the subject was handcuffed and officers on scene rendered aid while they were waiting for paramedics to arrive.”
According to Deputy Scott Wilson, a public information officer with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, no officers were injured in the shooting and the suspect was transported via medic unit to Raab Park for an airlift to Harborview Medical Center.
Lifesaving efforts on the subject, Schoonmaker said in the press release, were ultimately unsuccessful.
Schoonmaker noted that the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team had been activated and was conducting an independent investigation of the scene. The name of the suspect and officer are being withheld by law enforcement until responders have notified the families of those involved.