Suspect shot by Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy appears in court

A man who was shot in the arm by a Thurston County sheriff’s deputy was ordered held in jail on $100,000 bail Tuesday.

The deputy fired three shots at a suspect on Reservation Road early Saturday morning - hitting the suspect once in the arm - after the suspect rammed the deputy’s patrol car and then tried to run over the deputy and another officer, court papers state.

The suspect, Richard Paz, 29, was ordered held at the Thurston County Jail during a court hearing Tuesday after a Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch found probable cause to support allegations of first-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon and attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

The incident occurred about 3 a.m., when Nisqually Tribal police officers requested assistance from the sheriff’s office with a pursuit of a suspected intoxicated driver, according to Thurston County Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Elwin.

During the pursuit, an orange 2000 Plymouth driven by Paz fled two Nisqually Tribal officers at speeds of between 80 and 90 miles per hour on Reservation Road, court papers state. When the sheriff’s deputy tried to join the pursuit from the opposite direction, he was struck head-on by Paz, according to court papers.

Also according to court papers:

The Thurston County sheriff’s deputy Ruben Mancillas got out of his vehicle and approached the suspect’s car on foot after the collision. The Plymouth had spun out into a ditch. Mancillas and one of the Nisqually Tribal officers were yelling at Paz, telling him to exit the vehicle. The suspect drove toward the officers, hitting Deputy Mancillas’ patrol car a second time.

As Mancillas and the Nisqually police officer continued to shout verbal commands to surrender, “the suspect continued to resist, backed up his vehicle, revved the motor and drove toward Deputy Mancillas in what was perceived to be a deliberate attempt to run them over. Dep. Mancillas then fired three rounds from his pistol through the windshield of the suspect vehicle, with at least one of the rounds striking the suspect driver in the arm.”

Paz was convicted of possession of a controlled substance on May 27, and sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit for time served, court papers state. At the time of Paz’s arrest, he also had a no bail felony bench warrant from Pierce County for possession of a controlled substance.

Paz was booked at the Thurston County Jail after being treated and released for his gunshot wound at Providence St. Peter Hospital.

Elwin said the shooting is being investigated by the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigative Team, headed up by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Mancillas is on paid, administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, which is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting.

Elwin said law enforcement is still waiting for the results of Paz’s blood sample from the hospital to determine whether he was intoxicated at the time of the incident.