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Strange case: Man fatally shoots himself in head after being confronted by deputies

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AUBURN, Wash. -- A man found prowling in a neighborhood in south King County pulled a gun when chased by deputies Thursday night, but then suddenly shot himself in the head, the sheriff's office said.

King County sheriff's Sgt. Stan Seo said the man, believed to be about 40 years old and from Seattle, was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Seo said 911 calls were received just before 5 p.m. about a "suspicious man" in the 4300 block of South 299th Street, in unincorporated King County near Auburn. He reportedly had been in front of a house for an hour, looking inside, and going into the backyard.

Seo said that when deputies arrived, they found the suspect near the house. Seo said the man was armed with a knife, but he complied with a deputy’s directions to put the knife down.

Deputies began talking to him, but moments later, Seo said, the man ran off and deputies chased him.

One of the deputies saw the man was armed with a handgun and drew his service weapon, Seo said. At that point,  the man then suddenly shot himself in the head.

"This incident occurred in about three minutes, from the deputies arriving to the broadcast over the radio of shot fired," Seo said.

Major crimes detectives are investigating to determine what the man's relationship was to the area, who he is, and why he shot himself, Seo said.