Neighbor describes encounter with officer-involved shooting suspect

Man shot by police allegedly threatened family

SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane resident said the man shot by police on Sunday evening first approached his family armed with a knife.

A quiet Sunday evening came to a quick halt for Parker and Mason Bytnar.

“He crashed the curb and the rim fell off his tire, and he got out with the hospital gown on,” said Parker Bytnar. “He started coming toward us and that’s when I started walking back and he started running.”

Dressed in a hospital gown and holding a knife, the man got closer and closer.

Parker and Mason dashed home just a few hundred feet away.

“He was right over by that arrow. That’s when I started running,” said Parker.

“We saw him running toward us and we’re like ‘Come on, come on!’” said Curtis Bytnar, the boys’ father.

Curtis noticed the commotion only a few seconds before and quickly rushed his sons to safety.

“Shot over this way, went right inside the house and locked the doors,” said Curtis.

Parker and Mason were safe, but then their dad and his fiancé were the ones in danger.

“He’s just swinging his knife telling us he’s going to kill us. Telling us he’ll kill us as he jabs at us,” said Curtis.

The man did not stop, coming even closer to Curtis and his fiancé.

“I’m papa bear. [I] wanted to hurt the guy, but what I am going to do when he’s holding a knife swinging?” said Curtis.

In a split-second decision, Curtis and his fiancé darted across the street. Within seconds, police arrived, but the suspect was unfazed.

From their window, Parker and Mason watched as the suspect stabbed himself repeatedly.

“He had blood all down his pants,” said Parker.  

The suspect then took off running. Officers attempted to tase him, but to no avail.

“You could hear the taser go off and it had no effect,” said Curtis.  

That is when officers shot the suspect, who remains in the hospital.

Parker, Mason and Curtis were shaken, but no one was hurt.

If a similar situation ever arose, Curtis insisted the outcome would have been far different.

“If I had my gun on me, it would’ve been over. I would’ve shot him dead. You don’t mess with my boys. Period,” said Curtis.  

© 2017 KREM-TV


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