Police shoot, kill man after altercation in Seattle homeless encampment

Tents line a small green space below Interstate 90 and a short walk to a homeless area known as the Jungle Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Seattle. Seattle and state officials on Tuesday announced plans to move people out of the Seattle homeless encampment known as the Jungle, four months after the fatal shooting of two people raised new concerns about public safety and health issues there. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Elaine Thompson, AP

SEATTLE Police say a man who was shot by an officer near a Seattle homeless encampment known as The Jungle has died.

The Seattle Police Department said in a news release that the man shot by a female officer Tuesday afternoon had been in the midst of a knife fight with another man.

Police say the man shot was critically injured and died later Tuesday at a Seattle hospital.

The officer who fired the weapon during the incident will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Neither she nor the men involved in the incident have been identified. 

According to CBS affiliate In a news conference on Tuesday, police chief Kathleen O’Toole said two men were fighting on the perimeter of The Jungle; one of the men had a knife.

As the officers tried to intervene, one of the officers fired shots. One man has life-threatening injuries and another person has a minor injury. 

“I think [the incident] underscores the danger in this area,” O’Toole told reporters at the scene. “It’s unfortunate we had an officer-involved, but it’s a dangerous area.”

Police do not know if the people shot live in The Jungle. This altercation did not relate to officers asking people to leave in the clear-out of The Jungle, according to O’Toole.

Amid protests, crews clearing out last residents of ‘The Jungle’ on Tuesday 

Seattle city officials started clearing out the last of the homeless camps in “The Jungle” under I-5 Tuesday as groups protest the move of the final residents.

The Tent City Collective, Stop the Sweeps and other groups disrupted an 8 a.m. news conference about the operation by state and city transportation officials. The groups said they are trying to work with the homeless there to stop the sweep of the homeless camp.

It is not known if the shooting is related to the protests.

The final sweep in the East Duwamish Greenbelt comes after a months-long campaign to clean up the area.

Out of an estimated 200 tents there, there are about 40 people left. The city has been offering the homeless there options to stay in shelters, and some have accepted.

Stay with kiro7.com for updates.

Background on The Jungle 

The Jungle under I-5 has been a longtime homeless camp known for shootings, freeway fires and unhealthy areas clogged with garbage.

In January, five people were shot, two killed, when gunfire erupted in a homeless camp.

The final sweep is the culmination of work that started in early September to give the people living there a chance to go elsewhere.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said they’d like to pave the dirt access road there so road inspectors have better access.

Not all of the homeless people KIRO talked to at the beginning of the move said the plan would work.

“I guarantee you the people here who I live next to are not going to lay down for this. They’re going to stay right where they’re at and police are probably going to have to haul them to jail. When they get out, they’re going to come right back and sit down,” said Jungle resident Kevin Boyd.

The city said they’ll hold onto belongings for the 42 people there for up to two months.