PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man armed with knives was shot to death by Vancouver police after confronting them during a disturbance at a mobile home park in the early hours of Sunday, authorities said.
Police were called around 12:25 a.m. to a residence in the Sky Ridge Estates mobile home park, near NE 59th and 131st. A resident said a man they knew was inside their home and armed with knives, police said. The caller and several other people, including 2 children, locked themselves in their bedrooms.
The armed man was also believed to have started a fire in the house. Authorities said officers smelled something burning when they first arrived.
The people who locked themselves in their bedrooms escaped through the windows, police said. The armed man came out of the house and confronted officers with a knife.
That’s when police fired a 40mm “less lethal” round at the man, police said, but it did not deter him. According to VPD, the officers then “had to deploy their firearms to stop the suspect from harming anyone.”
The man was rushed to the hospital after being shot but did not survive his injuries, authorities said. He was publicly identified on Tuesday as Luis A. Ku Huitzil, 45, whose residence was not known. He died from multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.
No one else was injured, officials said.
‘The bullets passed right by the room’
A family’s home surveillance camera captured the moments police said the man tried attacking the officers with a knife before he was shot. Multiple officers can be heard yelling to the man to drop the knife.
The video shows the man wielding the knife. A second later officers fired the shots that killed the suspect.
Cielo Garfias and her family shared the surveillance video with KOIN 6 News. She did not want to speak on camera because she is too shaken up by what happened. She began to cry as she spoke with KOIN 6 News by phone.
“The bullets passed right by the room where my mom was sleeping and it was so close,” Garfias said. “My mom, she was, like, ‘Get on the floor, get on the floor!’ because, like, what if they kept on shooting?”
Neighbor Xavier Hernandez told KOIN 6 News they heard “four distinctive shots. We just heard, ‘bap bap bap bap’ and you know I stepped outside to see what it was. But I thought it was coming from a neighborhood down there because I wouldn’t expect that to be happening over here, so I was, like, what the hell?”
Four officers were involved in the shooting, including one who fired the “less lethal” round, VPD said. The officers were not named, and the department said they have been put on leave, a standard practice following officer-involved shootings.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is leading the SW Washington Independent Investigative Response Team in investigating the shooting.
“It’s sad that this had to happen, especially in the area where we live,” Hernandez said. “We have kids around.”
“It’s so sad. I’m going to cry,” Garfias said. “It’s so much emotion.”