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A fatal shooting involving a Washington State Patrol trooper closed all lanes of southbound I-5 just south of the Ship Canal Bridge for nearly five hours Monday. The freeway reopened just before midnight.
Officials say the incident began when a man driving a pickup truck swerved in traffic and stopped on the bridge, blocking two of the center lanes.
The truck then caught fire and the driver got out and began walking southbound away from the vehicle.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Cliff Pratt says two troopers responding to 911 reports of a burning truck found the driver had left the vehicle and spray-painted a large green circle on the freeway.
When one of the troopers ordered the man to stop and come back towards them, the man pulled out a knife. One of the troopers tried stopping him with a Taser, which had no effect, said Pratt.
"The subject continued with his knife toward the officers, and they were forced to fire off rounds at him," said Pratt.
The Seattle Fire Department said the suspect, a man in his 20's, was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. A nursing supervisor at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the man died Monday night shortly after his arrival. He has not been identified.
Traffic was backed up for several miles as the Washington State Department of Transportation reversed the northbound express lanes to the southbound direction to alleviate congestion.
Cars stuck behind the closure were allowed to reverse direction and exit I-5 at 45th Street in the University District. Some bus passengers got out and walked.