Motive not known in man's bizarre freeway spree




Quick Facts:

  • Troopers said they were forced to shoot knife-wielding man
  • Man set truck on fire, spray- painted green circle on freeway
  • Incendiary devices were found  truck
  • Motive,  identity of man not yet known

Detectives are trying to figure out why a man with a knife set his truck on fire in the middle of Interstate 5 Monday, forcing troopers to shoot him on the freeway.

His bizarre behavior shut down the freeway at the Ship Canal Bridge for hours.

The man died from the gunshot wounds fired by state troopers he threatened with a knife.

Witnesses said the man had been acting bizarre – he stopped his truck in the middle of the southbound I-5 lanes, lit his truck on fire and then spray-painted a large green circle around bags he placed in the middle of the road.

A Department of Transportation incident response employee tried to put out the flames.

Troopers arrived at the scene to find a knife-wielding man. While one trooper helped put the fire out, a second trooper spoke with the man as he spray-painted the road.  The man then threatened the troopers with a knife, the Washington State Patrol said.

When talking to the man didn't work, they first used a stun gun on the him, which had no effect.  When the man's threats continued and then he came after them with a knife, officers shot him multiple times, the WSP said.

Witness Mathias Assafa said she saw cars trying to dodge the man.

“Then the police started telling him to stop what he was doing, I guess, then they kept on shooting him,” said Assafa.

The man was taken to Harborview, where he died shortly after. 

Police said the man in his 20s has not been identified and they don’t yet know what he was doing, but incendiary devices were found in his truck.

The troopers who shot the man are Andrew Boyer, 29, who is a 7-year veteran, and Christopher Kyle, 29, a 2-year veteran.  Both are assigned to the WSP's  Bellevue District Office, and neither had used deadly force in the past.

Andrew Boyer is the son of Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer.

Police don’t yet know if the truck the man was driving was stolen.  Seattle police are handling the investigation.

The medical examiner will release the man’s identity.

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