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Tacoma police shoot robbery suspect

A witness to a police shooting on South Ridgewood Avenue in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood sits while neighbors watch the investigation.
A witness to a police shooting on South Ridgewood Avenue in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood sits while neighbors watch the investigation. The News Tribune

Tacoma police shot and wounded a bank robbery suspect Monday after a confrontation on a Hilltop street.

Paramedics took the suspect, described as a man in his early 40s, to Madigan Army Medical Center for treatment, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Three officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. None was injured.

The robbery and the shooting were seven minutes apart Monday.

Investigators believe the man robbed the Columbia Bank branch at 1959 S. Union Ave. at 11:05 a.m. The robber gave a teller a note demanding money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash, Fulghum said. No weapon was seen.

Witnesses gave police a description of the robber’s vehicle and its license plate, and officers found it abandoned near South 15th Street and Sprague Avenue.

Officers confronted the suspect in the 1500 block of South Ridgewood Avenue. During the confrontation, the officers shot the man. Detectives were investigating whether he had a weapon and what prompted the officers to shoot him, Fulghum said.

Jolene Reece, who lives at the Summertree Park apartments, said she saw an officer with his weapon drawn get out of a patrol car at South 15th Street and Ridgewood Avenue.

She said officers grabbed the man by the arm, but he broke free and appeared to reach for something near his waist.

“That’s when they started shooting,” Reece said of the officers.

Police Chief Don Ramsdell came to the scene and talked to officers about what happened. Afterward, he said their actions seemed reasonable and within department policy.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268

stacey.mulick@thenewstribune.com

blog.thenewstribune.com/crime

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