Deputy kills man armed with pool cue during confrontation

Deputy kills man armed with pool cue during confrontation
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- His parents watched in horror as a man swinging a pool cue at a deputy was fatally shot by another deputy.

It happened at about 2:30 a.m. Friday at a home in Littlerock where Thurston County deputies had tracked a suspect from an attempted break-in at the Littlerock Grocery Store.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Greg Elwin said the suspect's mother came out of the house, in the 12400 block of Waddel Creek Road SW, and confronted deputies. They were in the process of detaining her when the 26-year-old came out of the house, swinging the heavy end of a pool cue.

"He was swinging it at deputies. At one point, a deputy did deploy a Taser in an attempt to defuse that situation. It proved to be ineffective," said Elwin. "The suspect was getting ready to hit the deputy in the head and another deputy fired a single shot. At this point, everything seems to be point that this was a necessary use of force."

The man was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia where he died. Family members identified him as Keith Miles. Elwin said there was some indication that both alcohol and drugs may have been involved.

Miles' parents are outraged the deputies took such drastic measures. Mother Kim Miles confirmed her son came out of the house with a pool cue and approached several deputies.

"He went into the crowd, they Tased him once, and then not 10 seconds later, they shot him," she said. "And I don't know why they just didn't grab him and throw him on the ground ... I did not think that they needed to pull a gun out and shoot him at point-blank range."

Robert Miles said he heard the shot and just knew deputies had wounded his son.

"I took two steps and one of (the deputies) put me on the ground and then just smashed my head down and handcuffed me, and held me down," he said. "I couldn't move ... I could have saved my son if they would have just let me come in and get him. There wouldn't have been a problem. I don't understand it.

"That many cops, one kid with a stick -- come on. They could have saved his life by putting him on the ground instead of just shooting him."

Kim Miles said her son, who was taking anti-depression medication, may have consumed alcohol prior to the incident.

"I have no idea what was going through his head," she said. "He did come out here and stuff. But with that many police officers, I think they could have just thrown him on the ground."

She was in tears as she described the shooting's aftermath.

"I watched them do CPR on (my son). I watch them pronounce him dead. I watch them tape him to the board and I watched them pack him away," Kim Miles said.

Elwin said the 34-year-old deputy who opened fire is a 6-year veteran of the force who also has previous military experience.

The Lewis County Sheriff's Office will handle the investigation, Elwin said.