Veteran officer shoots suspected serial robber after armed hold-up at Puyallup Denny’s

KOMO photo

PUYALLUP, Wash. – A man suspected of at least 10 armed robberies in Pierce County was shot and arrested Wednesday morning after holding up a Denny’s restaurant with a shotgun and demanding cash.

Officers responded to reports of an armed robbery in the 620 block of South Hill Park Drive at about 2:30 a.m., Captain Scott Engle with Puyallup Police Department said.

"He came up with a shotgun and said, 'Give me your money,'" Chris, a server at Denny's, said.

The man then told told the cashier that she had until the count of 10 to give him the cash from the register, Chris said. The man also asked her to retrieve money from customer's purses.

The cashier followed the suspect out of the restaurant after he left and provided a description to police. The cook called police.

Officers saw the suspect speed away in the passenger seat of a compact truck as they arrived on scene and alerted other officers in the area.

The suspect and the vehicle’s driver took off after an officer tried to stop them on the State Route 512 overpass, eventually exiting the freeway on South Meridian Street and attempting to travel northbound on South Meridian Street.

The driver lost control and crashed head-on into a concrete overpass support pillar, Engle said.

Officers attempted to arrest the suspect and shot him after he waved a weapon at the vehicle’s driver. The man, 37, was seriously injured.

Officers immediately performed life-saving measures. The man was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers also arrested the vehicle’s driver. Both the suspect and the driver are convicted felons, police said.

The officer who shot the suspect has been placed on paid administrative leave. Police say the officer is a 15 year veteran of law enforcement. He's been with the Puyallup Police Department for five years.

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