Lynnwood police said a 24-year-old man was arrested early Thursday morning after he allegedly wielded a knife and made racially-charged threats to African American employees outside the Lynnwood Walmart on Highway 99.
Multiple employees at Walmart — located in the 17000 block of Highway 99 — told police that the man was making threats as they arrived for their shift. When the first officer arrived, he reported locating the man inside the shopping cart vestibule, pacing and yelling.
According to the officer, the man — whom police said is homeless — was holding a maroon sleeping bag, preventing the officer from seeing his hands. When the officer called for the man to show his hands, he said he was met with profanity and noncompliance. After the officer drew his weapon, the man responded by walking toward the officer while telling him to shoot him.
However, when the man dropped his sleeping bag and revealed he was unarmed, the officer holstered his weapon and proceeded to use de-escalation training to take the man into custody without further incident, police said.
The victims — both African American — told police that the suspect, who is caucasian, was holding a knife while referencing the “KKK.” Police reported finding an 8-inch butcher knife among the man’s belongings.
The man was booked into Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of a hate crime as well as other offenses.