Crime

Suspect in Tacoma police shooting killed after standoff, 2 children rescued from home

Pierce County Sheriff’s SWAT team shoots suspected cop killer

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer recounts the events leading to the rescue of two children and the death of a suspected cop killer early Thursday morning, Dec. 1, 2016. Video by Drew Perine and Peter Haley
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Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer recounts the events leading to the rescue of two children and the death of a suspected cop killer early Thursday morning, Dec. 1, 2016. Video by Drew Perine and Peter Haley

A 38-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a Tacoma police officer was killed by police gunfire early Thursday after an 11-hour standoff at an East Side home.

The suspect has not been identified.

A SWAT team rescued a boy and girl about 3:20 a.m. from the three-story house in the 400 block of East 52nd Street.

“The kids are safe and out of the house,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.

Police had been unsure whether the children were in the home during the standoff. Their mother was able to get out of the house after the officer was shot and before the suspect barricaded himself inside.

The girl, believed to be 8, and the boy, believed to be 6, were taken to the hospital to be checked out. They did not appear to be injured.

The suspect’s relationship with the kids was unclear.

The Pierce County sheriff’s deputy who fired the shot that killed the suspect has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Authorities said they knew late Wednesday the suspect was using the kids as a shield.

“We were able to get in the house and get one of the kids away from him,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. “We had a SWAT member who had a clear shot. We fired one round, which struck him, and we were able to rescue the second kid.”

The deputy fired the single shot from outside the house.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troyer said the suspect had multiple weapons.

Shortly after the suspect was killed, Tacoma police began removing crime tape and allowing residents back into the neighborhood. The home where the shootings occurred will remain blocked off.

Cool cautioned that it could take some time for the 153 law enforcement officers who were on scene to depart.

Several investigators will remain to process the scene.

Outside agencies have volunteered to help respond to Tacoma’s 911 calls so officers can focus on the death of one of their own.

“There were a lot of heroic actions by many police officers from many agencies,” Troyer said.

Miles from the scene, law enforcement officers stood guard over the fallen officer’s body at the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Troopers took the first shift, and Tacoma officers were expected to take over about 5:30 a.m.

It is police tradition not to leave a fallen officer alone until he or she is buried.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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