Robbery suspect fatally shot by Seattle police was local chef

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Seattle Police say the alleged bank robber who was fatally shot by a detective on Thursday had charged at the detective with a knife.

Police said Cody Spafford was shot and killed after he refused to drop the knife and charged at the detective with it.

Surveillance pictures from Seattle Police show 26-year-old Spafford, dressed as a woman in heavy make-up and a brunette wig, using an airsoft pellet gun to rob the bank.

"The victims at the bank thought it was a real fire arm. We treat them as a real fire arm until proven different,” said Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh.

Police say Spafford fled in a silver car, which later flipped in the Denny Blaine neighborhood. Police searched the area for more than two hours.

When a detective found Spafford on top of a residential garage, Spafford was holding an 8-inch knife and police say he refused to drop it.

“The suspect charged at the detective with the knife in his hand,” said McDonagh. "The detective fired multiple shots from his patrol rifle striking the subject and he went down.”

Spafford died at the scene.

The Walrus and the Carpenter restaurant, Spafford’s workplace, closed Friday in mourning.

"We're all devastated, shocked, surprised. Having trouble reconciling the Cody we know and the Cody that was involved in this terrible crime,” said restaurant co-owner Jeremy Price.

Spafford was their sous chef. He started four years ago shucking oysters and rose up the chef ladder. He had just gotten another chef job in New York and was planning to move at the end of this month.

“We really didn’t see any warning signs. That’s why this is so shocking,” said Price.

Spafford had convictions in Utah for misdemeanor theft and drug possession.

Police said detectives are still working to determine whether Spafford entered any homes in the area, but police did find a cash-filled rolling bag in a garage a block away from the scene of the shooting.

Police say officers are trained to use deadly force when facing an imminent threat from a deadly weapon, like a gun or knife.

The detective who fired the shots is 15-year-veteran Det. Jim Rodgers, who has two other shooting incidents on his record. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard department protocol.

KING 5's Susan Wyatt contributed to this report.

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