Police: Kelso officer kills man who attacked 2 clerks and cop with walking stick

KELSO, Wash. --€” Authorities say a Kelso patrolman shot and killed a man who attacked two gas station clerks and the officer himself with a walking stick.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson told a news conference that the suspect, a black man described as a transient, was reported to have shoplifted from a gas station food mart in West Kelso. The officer responded at about 8 a.m. to take a report, and the sheriff says that's when the man returned to the store and began striking the clerks with the stick.

Nelson says the officer tried to intervene, but was himself struck in the head and then shot the suspect.

Nelson described the officer as a senior patrolman. He and the clerks were taken to a hospital, but the extent of any injuries was not clear.

The sheriff said the suspect had been contacted by law enforcement several times in the past week, including an arrest last weekend.