Tacoma-area man opens fire on neighbors

No one injured in Tacoma area; man gives up after locking himself in house

Staff writerMarch 27, 2013 

Residents said he used to drive around their Fife Heights neighborhood near Tacoma on his orange tractor, acting as a sort of local handyman by cutting back tree branches and doing other favors for neighbors.

Tuesday afternoon he shot at one of them and at their homes up and down his street instead, deputies said just after 4 p.m., hours before the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody.

The 67-year-old suspect pointed a gun at one neighbor, took a shot at another, and shot two cars and three houses on his street in the 5800 block of 13th Street Court East near northeast Tacoma, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said after preliminary investigation.

No one was injured by the suspect, Troyer said.

The man then shut himself inside his home, where he had rifles and handguns, Troyer said.

Authorities fired gas into the home to try to force the suspect out, and had friends try to talk him out on the phone. When the man was convinced that his two dogs would be taken care of and that a friend would be outside when he gave himself up, the suspect surrendered, Troyer said about 9 p.m.

Deputies evacuated some neighbors, and asked that those who remained to stay inside and away from their windows.

Before he barricaded himself inside his home, the man approached several neighbors sitting in a nearby garage, Troyer said. The suspect pointed a gun at the man’s head and told him to run. “And he did,” Troyer said. Deputies found the victim safe later.

Troyer said alcohol apparently was involved in Tuesday’s incident.

Deputies contacted the suspect for investigation of driving under the influence a few blocks from his house last week, Troyer said.

“The alcohol has just gotten to him,” said Morgan Stephenson, a neighbor. “… It’s sad to see. It didn’t have to go this way.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268 alexis.krell@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime

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