Tacoma police shot and killed a man they say was waving a gun and talking of suicide in the parking lot of a popular Tacoma waterfront restaurant Saturday night.
Officers tried to persuade him not to take his own life, but he pointed his weapon at the officers and they responded with gunfire, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
Police were beginning what Fulghum said would be a thorough investigation of the shooting at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Witnesses said police officers gave the man clear directions to put down the weapon before they fired.
“They said it very loud and clear,” said Lee Vigil, who was leaving the restaurant when the incident unfolded. “They did what they had to do.”
Another witness said officers quickly cleared the parking lot of patrons, cordoned off the area where the man was standing at the edge of waterfront, and then tried to talk him down.
Restaurant patrons had become alarmed when the man began talking about committing suicide. They called police about 8:15 p.m. Restaurant customers said five or six officers responded to that call.
Officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated. Those officers had returned to police headquarters by shortly after 9 p.m. to be debriefed.
The manager of the waterfront eatery in the 3000 block of Ruston Way declined to comment on the incident. The restaurant closed early Saturday night because of the shooting.
Fulghum said he had no immediate details about the number of shots fired or the number of officers who had responded to the scene before the shooting. Not all of the officers on the scene fired their weapons, he said.