Williams, a chronic substance abuser, was deaf in one ear, and his knife was closed, although a picture of the legal woodcarving knife was previously released by Seattle police showing it open.
Birk claimed he felt threatened by Williams, whom he had encountered at least once before. Witnesses say Williams was facing away from Birk when Birk shot him. A number of unconfirmed comments on a YouTube page and various news sites claim that Birk was a veteran fresh from Iraq when the incident occurred.
|SPD knife photo released to media|
|SPD evidentiary photo of knife at scene|