LAKEWOOD: Officer shooting ruled justified

A Lakewood police officer acted lawfully when he shot and killed a knife-wielding man who advanced on him earlier this year, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office reported Friday.

Officer Brian Wurts was justified when he shot Curtis Wetzel, 37, inside a mobile home in the 3200 block of 96th Street South on May 6, Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Horne said in a news release. Wetzel ignored commands to drop the knife as he advanced “wide-eyed and smiling” at the officer, the news release states. Wetzel had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit at the time of his death, according to an autopsy.

“The shooting was necessary for the officer to protect his own life,” Horne said.

Wurts and other officers had been dispatched to the scene to investigate a domestic violence call.

Also Friday, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office announced it will not conduct a coroner’s inquest into Wetzel’s death.

Adam Lynn, The News Tribune