1 dead after officer-involved shooting in Puyallup
PUYALLUP, Wash. -- A man is dead after an officer-involved shooting Friday night at the Puyallup Recreation Center, according to police.
Police said officers were responding to a reckless driver and it suddenly escalated into a deadly shootout with the suspect.
“It’s an extremely tough time for law enforcement. We’ve had a rough week, so again, our officers are being extremely cautious,” said Puyallup Police Chief Scott Engle. “This is what our officers do every day. They don’t know what’s going to be on the end of that radio call when we get there. All we know is someone needs our help because there’s a problem, the community’s in danger and something is happening.”
Investigators said at 3:27 p.m. the Fife Police Department got a report of a recklessly driven vehicle in the 4300 block of 70th Avenue East. Witnesses said the van was swerving into oncoming traffic and stopping in the middle of the road.
Puyallup Police said officers also got several calls of the recklessly driven vehicle at 3:39 p.m.
They said at 3:52 p.m. officers found the van had been ditched in the middle of Valley Avenue NW near the Puyallup Recreation Center.
Police said while officers were looking for the driver, a gunshot went off.
Investigators said they found the man behind the rec center, taking cover by a utility pole.
Police said seven officers - two from Milton and five from Puyallup tried to negotiate with the man, but he fired at least one other shot so officers fired back and the suspect died.
"When we have seven officers who returned fire, obviously they felt a threat to themselves,” Engle said. “Very proud of our officers today, extremely dangerous situation for a subject who was in the back part of this property."
None of the officers were injured, but all seven have been placed on paid administrative leave per their department policies.
The name of the dead suspect has not been released.
Investigators said they found another shotgun in the van.
The shooting marked the second officer-involved shooting in Pierce County on Friday and the fourth one this week.
Earlier Friday a sheriff's deputy shot at a suspect who rammed his patrol car and tried to run the deputy over. No one was hurt, but two people were arrested.
On Sunday night, Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel McCartney was killed while responding to a home invasion in Frederickson.
That same night, a gun-wielding man was shot and killed by police officers outside a burning home in Tacoma.