The dramatic bodycam video of the fatal officer-involved shooting in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, last August was released Wednesday.
Couer d’Alene Police Officer Spencer Mortensen entered a residence on Aug. 25, 2013, to find 35-year-old Eric Byron Johnston standing in the kitchen, a knife clutched in either hand. Mortensen immediately began issuing verbal commands, but Johnston ignored them and slowly advanced towards the officer. Mortensen fired multiple times, fatally striking Johnston, The Spokesman-Review reports.
Mortensen and other officers responded to the scene around 8 a.m. specifically looking for Johnston, who had knocked over a utility pole with his pickup truck earlier that morning.
After being warned by Johnston’s friend that he may be in danger of cutting himself with a knife, Mortensen cautiously made his way into the house to intervene. He called several times for Johnston to come out, but received no response. The officer moved forward, and carefully pied off the kitchen corner to find Johnston poised with two knives.
“Put the knife down, now,” Mortensen ordered with his duty weapon trained on Johnston. “Put it down, I’m serious. Put the knives down.”
After issuing eight commands to drop the knives, Mortensen shot Johnston five times, and immediately fell to the floor and died.
In the ensuing investigation, it was determined Johnston was intent on “suicide by cop” and no charges were filed against Mortensen.
[ Spokesma-Review ]