A distraught man who reportedly had a history of mental-health issues was fatally shot by D.C. police Tuesday after he barricaded himself in a Northwest Washington residence and stabbed one officer and later lunged at others.
D.C. police Cmdr. Hilton Burton, head of the special operations division, said police were called at about 1:30 p.m. to assist city mental-health workers so they could commit the man to a facility.
The man, whose name has not been releleased, was described as about 55 years old. He lived in the apartment to which police were called, in the 1600 block of Irving St. NW.
The man attacked the officers as they went to the door of the apartment and then stabbed one officer in the arm, Burton said. The officers and mental-health professionals then left the apartment, declared a barricade situation and called in the emergency response team.
Team members started to negotiate with the man about 3:30 p.m., but the man would not come out, Burton said. Two hours later, members of the emergency-response team entered the apartment and tried to take him into custody, believing that the man was asleep or passed out.
The man then woke up, and he lunged at the police with sharpened objects, which appeared to be filed-down screwdrivers, Burton said.
“Officers fearing their safety ... had to use deadly force,” Burton said.
The man, who was struck in the upper body, was transported to Howard University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The officer who was stabbed was treated at a hospital and released, Burton said.
D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump declined to give specifics about how District police are trained to deal in such situations with people who may have mental-health issues. The shooting remains under investigation, she said.
Crump said the shooting was the fourth fatal shooting this year involving D.C. police, and there were zero in 2010.