Seattle Police Fatally Shoot Bank Robber

From The Stranger

On April 3rd, Seattle police officers shot and killed a man they said had robbed a bank and fled, and then crashed his silver sedan. According to police, the man was holding a knife when he was killed.

Cody Spafford, a chef at Ballard oyster bar Walrus and Carpenter, was his name. He was 26 years old and had no violent criminal record.

“He was incredible. He worked with us for three and a half years,” says Renee Erickson, one of the restaurant’s co-owners. “And he was completely loyal and hard working and just as sweet as you can imagine. He was just, you know, funny. Not anything like what’s being said right now. We didn’t know he was struggling this bad. He had a really bright future.”

Erickson hired Spafford about four years ago as a cook and he quickly rose to sous chef. He’d won awards for oyster shucking.

“Everyone is just turned totally upside down and blindsided by it all. This wasn’t the Cody that we knew and loved,” she says. “I think everyone here at Walrus wants the public to hear a different story than what they’re hearing right now—and pay some attention to the fact that they shot him. The city needs to do some better fucking work on how to handle situations like this.”

“You don’t just shoot a kid that’s 125 pounds”—he was short and slight, Spafford’s co-workers say—”holding a knife hiding in the bush. We’ve gotta be smarter people in this world. It’s embarrassing.”

Spafford was planning an imminent move to take a chef position at a New York restaurant. For now, the Walrus and Carpenter and Barnacle, a neighboring bar where Spafford also worked, are both closed. Erickson says Spafford’s friends and co-workers plan to hold a memorial.

UPDATE: SPD asserted in a press conference this afternoon that Spafford charged an officer with a knife before Detective Jim Rodgers fatally shot him.