December 01, 2016
SEATTLE — A deputy who "had a clear shot" fired once at the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Tacoma officer, killing the man who had used two children as human shields inside a home during a lengthy standoff, authorities said.
The suspect was shot at about 3:30 a.m., ending an 11-hour standoff, said Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer. He did not identify the suspect but said the man refused to surrender during negotiations.
"We were able to get the suspect cornered and trapped, even though he had two kids," Troyer said. "We had a SWAT member who had a clear shot. We fired one round, which struck him."
A girl and a boy were found unharmed inside the house, where authorities also discovered multiple weapons.
Earlier, the working class East Tacoma neighborhood of single-family homes was locked down while officers tried to bring about a peaceful resolution.
Kristi Croskey, who rented the home to the suspect and his wife, was inside the home at the time and barricaded herself in the bathroom before she was able to escape, KOMO-TV (http://bit.ly/2gYPKJb ) reported.
She said police showed up because the suspect was fighting with his wife and refused to let her back inside.
"They said they just wanted to talk to him and then gunfire started, they didn't start it," Croskey said.
The events began Wednesday afternoon when officers investigating a domestic violence call went to the house and one was shot multiple times, said Tacoma Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool. Shortly after arriving, officers called for backup.
Reacting to the shots fired, officers entered the home and managed to get the wounded officer outside and to a hospital, Cool said.
The officer, who was not identified, died Wednesday night after undergoing surgery.
"We've suffered a great loss and I think the community has suffered a great loss. I don't know how to put that into words," Cool said.
A procession of law enforcement officers escorted the officer's body from the hospital to the county medical examiner's office.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said "all of Washington grieves with Tacoma, which tonight lost one of their finest."
He added: "Our hearts are with the men and women of the Tacoma Police Department, their families, and their brothers and sisters in law enforcement across Washington."