A man wielding a knife was shot and killed by police Wednesday morning in a quiet Coeur d’Alene neighborhood west of U.S. 95 near the Silver Lake Mall.
Police said 29-year-old Fares J. Al Samno was shot at 9:50 a.m. at the intersection of Canfield Avenue and Pine Grove Drive after officers attempted to disarm him with a Taser and shoot him with bean bags.
Police initially responded to a report of a man behaving erratically and carrying a knife. When an officer confronted Al Samno, police said, he lunged at the officer.
“The man charged at the officer with the knife in his hand,” Jay Wilhelm of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said.
The patrol officer waited for backup. When more officers arrived and attempted to speak with the man to try to calm him down. They ordered him to drop the knife but he continued to aggressively approach the officers, Wilhelm said.
Police used Tasers and bean-bag rounds to stop the man, but he attacked the officers.
“The suspect charged toward the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Wilhelm said in a news release.
Medical personnel could not revive Al Samno. He died at the scene, police said.
The gunshots were heard by neighbors, who did not recognize them as weapons being fired in the quiet neighborhood of single and multi-family homes, a doctor’s office and a gated community tucked into a wooded grove.
Savannah and Paul Teague, who live in an apartment across from the intersection where the shooting occurred, said they heard what they thought were pops or bangs made by workers in a nearby apartment.
When they went outside onto their deck after 10 a.m., they were confronted by police cars and a covered body lying in the street.
“This is what we came out to,” Savannah Teague said.
Andreas Braunlich, who lives less than two blocks away, heard the gunshots as well. He was outside tending to his roses when he heard two bangs followed by a pause and then a series of shots, he said. He didn’t think they were gunshots.
“I thought the neighbors were shooting off fireworks,” he said.
Neighbor Robert Dolan said a man who appeared to be homeless had been in the neighborhood for at least a day, walking back and forth on the sidewalk near the location where the shooting happened.
Because it is near a wooded area where homeless people sometimes overnight, and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, which provides homeless services and affordable housing, has an office in the neighborhood, transients are not uncommon in the area, neighbors said.
Al Samno’s criminal history goes back at least a decade and includes theft, probation violation and drug charges. Police said he may have had a local address, but were unsure of his living arrangements.
Post Falls police are investigating the shooting. Members of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho State Police were involved in the latest incident.
It is the second time in two months that Coeur d’Alene Police have shot a person in the line of duty. Officers shot 18-year-old Tyler Rambo after the Fourth of July fireworks show in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Police said Rambo leveled a handgun at them before officers opened fire. That incident is under investigation by Idaho State Police.