PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy acted lawfully when he shot and killed a Midland-area man armed with a butcher knife, the Prosecutor’s Office reported Tuesday.
Deputy Robert LaTour shot Matthew Wells Sept. 21 at Wells’ home in the 2000 block of 78th Street Court East.
The Prosecutor’s Office gave this account:
LaTour and other deputies responded to the home after someone called South Sound 911 to report that Wells, 40, was trying to kill himself and might have been hearing voices.
The deputies found Wells shut in his bedroom and tried to convince him to put down the butcher knife and come out.
Eventually, Wells opened the door, still armed with the knife.
He grunted as he moved back and forth and didn’t follow commands to drop the weapon.
Then he moved toward LaTour, who fired.
“Deputy LaTour said he shot Wells in defense of himself as well as Wells’ parents who were in the room behind him,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
Tests showed Wells had methamphetamine and anti-anxiety medication in his system.
The Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department and Medical Examiner’s Office investigated the shooting.
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