Police gun down man knifing wife

Two police officers shot and killed a 26-year-old Navy petty officer who was stabbing his wife at their Oak Harbor home Sunday night, according to Oak Harbor police.

Capt. Rick Wallace said the incident was the first time Oak Harbor police officers have been involved “in a shooting that resulted in an injury or death.”

The officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance, with screaming and yelling coming from a condominium on SE Ely Street, at about 10 p.m.

Upon arrival, the officers were confronted by a man, wielding a knife in each hand, who was in the process of stabbing a woman, according to police reports. The officers tried to stop the man by yelling commands and spraying him with pepper spray.

But when the man attempted to stab the woman again, Chief Steve Almon said each of the two officers fired “multiple shots” and killed the man instantly.

The man was identified Tuesday as Connie J. Pearsall, a petty officer third class with VAQ-132.

The 30-year-old victim was transported to Whidbey General Hospital and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She suffers from multiple stab wounds, including injuries to her chest. She was up-graded from critical to serious condition Monday.

Almon said the police are not releasing the name of the stabbing victim until after her relatives are notified. He also said the names of the officers involved in the shooting are not being released until further along in the investigation.

Both of the officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is normal department policy. The Oak Harbor Police Department is investigating the case with assistance from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office and the Island County Coroner’s Office.

“We want to get this thing wrapped up as soon as possible,” Almon said. “But more importantly, we want the investigation to be accurate.”

Island County Coroner Robert Bishop said an autopsy was performed Monday on Pearsall. He said the man had been shot five times in the torso and died “immediately.”

Toxicology results on Pearsall probably won’t be available for about 10 days.

While the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, Bishop said all the evidence is consistent with the statements made by police.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the officers saved her life,” Bishop said. “There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind, from the paramedics at the scene to the people in the ER.”

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