Two officers responded to a report of a man in the street armed with a knife in the 2500 block of 36th Ave. W. near W. Smith Street. at 11:43 a.m.
They contacted the man on the street, the man advanced on police, and one officer opened fire, striking the man in the torso, police said.
The officers immediately began performing first aid on the man and called for medics, police said.
The man, who was alert and conscious, was transported to Harborview where he is in critical condition, a hospital spokesperson said.
The man who was shot has previous arrests for car prowling, shoplifting and disorderly conduct. He is believed to live in a house in the neighborhood.
Several neighbors, some of whom have been at the scene throughout the day, said it was a domestic incident between a father and son.
Police said the incident was isolated to one home.
"It's not a case of stranger running around terrorizing a neighborhood," Mark Jamieson of the Seattle Police said.
Officers who arrived first called for backup, including certified officers from the Crisis Intervention Team who respond to persons in mental health crises
"It's a little unnerving," neighbor Joy Casey said.
Both officers involved will be put on paid administrative leave while
detectives investigate the shooting.