Sheriff: Man with gun shot dead by deputy outside Thurston Co. casino

Thurston County detectives investigate a deputy-involved shooting outside the Lucky Eagle Casino (Photo: KOMO News)

ROCHESTER, Wash. - The Thurston County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies fatally shot a man with a gun in the parking lot of the Lucky Eagle Casino on Tuesday night.

The incident unfolded after a family member called 911 at about 7:45 p.m. for a welfare check on a man in the area of Highway 12 and Anderson Road SW near Rochester.

The family member reported that the 55-year-old Lakewood man was acting erratically and armed with a pistol, said Thurston County Sheriff's Sgt. Cameron Simper.

A deputy found the man inside a car at the casino parking lot.

As the deputy approached and told the man to get out, the man showed a gun and pointed it at the deputy, Pearsall said. The man then exited his vehicle and began coming toward the deputy, who was about 40 feet away at this point, said Chief Dave Pearsall with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy fired several shots at the man, seriously wounding him. He was flown by helicopter to St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, where he was pronounced dead.

The deputy wasn't injured.

"Anytime we're confronted with deadly force, we have to respond with deadly force to neutralize the situation so that deputies and no one else gets hurt," Pearsall said. "It's a very tragic and unfortunate situation that happened here tonight."

The identity of the man who was killed has not been released.

A multi-agency team was at the scene to investigate the shooting.

In a statement, the Lucky Eagle Casino says it is "cooperating with the investigation - and are focused on the safety of guests, employees and the community."