KELSO, Wash. (KOIN) — The man who was shot and killed by a Kelso police officer has been identified as Omer Ismail Ali.
Ali was shot after attacking the clerk, a customer and the officer at the Fling K convenience store in Kelso at 8:15 a.m. on August 17. Ali was an immigrant from Sudan and had been living in Spokane, Washington since September 2013. He was known to be a transient.
Ali was well-known to Kelso Police after several encounters with law enforcement in the days leading up to the shooting. There were also 2 misdemeanor warrants for Ali from Spokane and Blaine, Wash.
On August 13, Ali was arrested for driving with a suspended license and deputies later learned he was driving a stolen rental car.
After he was released from the Cowlitz County jail on August 15, Ali reportedly trespassed at house on 8th Ave.
According to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s office, on the day of his death, August 17, Ali spoke to the deputy sergeant through the outside intercom at the jail around 12:30 a.m, then 40 minutes later, arrived at the Flying K, which is about a quarter of a mile away. He was armed with a flat board but a Kelso officer seized it.
Around 2 a.m. he was contacted again outside the jail. At 5 a.m., Ali was reported for being in the yard of a house on 4th Ave and looking in the windows.
It was around 8 a.m. that he returned to the Flying K for the third time that morning and attempted to shoplift. Officer John Johnston was called and was reviewing surveillance video in the store office when Ali began assaulting the clerk and a customer with a stick.
Johnston was also attacked with the stick before shooting Ali at 8:15 a.m.
Surveillance video from outside the show shows Ali approaching with the pole, and video from inside shows him hitting a customer before going after Johnston.
The Cowlitz County coroner’s office found that Ali died of gunshot wounds to the chest. He also had gunshot wounds to his jaw and neck.
Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson told KOIN on Wednesday that he was “not sure a Taser or a baton would have been an appropriate response.”
Warning: Graphic video