VIDEO: Man allegedly seeking to meet underage girls at hotel was shot and killed by police after he pulled a gun

News & Politics

Washington state police shot and killed a man they had confronted during a sting operation meant to catch online child predators.

The fatal incident unfolded on April 17 at about 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Suites hotel in Tukwila.

The Seattle Police Department says that the 67-year-old man believed he was meeting two young girls aged 7 and 11 years old in the hotel room. When the man was confronted by members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, he appeared to pull a gun from his pocket and was gunned down.

“A struggle ensued,” said SPD deputy chief Eric Barden in a media briefing. “Two officers fired rounds, hitting the suspect.”

Police released body camera video from the incident. One police officer was grazed in the leg during the shooting and was treated for a minor injury.

A witness to the shooting from Texas named Erik Wehrmeister told KING-TV about what he saw.

“I heard a loud pop, I assumed it might have been maintenance. Seconds later, another pop and after that, a rapid succession of gunfire,” Wehrmeister said. “I turned around and saw someone shooting downward into the floor, and that’s when I made a run for the kitchen into the corridor and barricaded in one of the offices.”

He said that he called 911 and found out there were already police at the hotel.

“There were plain clothes officers immediately afterward that I saw in the lobby,” Wehrmeister added.

The man was declared dead at the scene.

The video was edited by many news stations, but a longer version of the footage was published by the Police Activity Channel on YouTube.

The man who died was later identified as retired Navy doctor Bruce Coval Meneley. The man served in Guantanamo Bay and spoke to the New York Times in 2016 about abuses at the base.

Meneley had been previously arrested in a prostitution sting in 2017, and police said his phone number was implicated in two other investigations involving prostitution. In an interview with investigators at that time, Meneley admitted that he had also been arrested on similar charges in Texas, but his sentence had been diverted to community service.

Here’s the video of the shooting:

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