A man driving a stolen car was shot dead by an armed citizen who went to look for stolen property at a homeless camp in Tacoma near Cheney Stadium on Monday after a driver reportedly ran into a man and a satellite at high speed.
The man who was driving the car was found wounded and arrested Tuesday night in the same common area.
The man who opened fire was not arrested, Tacoma police spokesman Wendy Haddow said. She did not recognize this man.
Hadow described the events as follows:
Two people, trying to retrieve the stolen items, went to camp around 3:30 p.m. Monday. The access point is near the parking lot for the building of the Boy Scouts of America in the 4800 quarter on South 19th Street.
“They found there a stolen canopy (truck) and several (beer) barrels that had been stolen from Cheney Stadium,” Hadow said.
People also found a car that they thought had been stolen. A man at the scene threatened to kill citizens, Hedow said. The individuals then called the police. Police confirmed the car was stolen.
When the officers arrived, they told the townspeople to wait near the parking lot while they descended towards the camp on a dirt road.
When police encountered the alleged thief, he got into a stolen car and drove, according to officers, “at high speed.” Soon the car drove up to the area where the citizens were standing.
“The car was driving straight at them, and members of the community felt life-threatening and shot the suspect,” Hadow said.
Officers heard gunshots and “shot” on police radio. Police were initially unsure who fired the shots. Hadow did not think the officers were on the line of fire.
“While they were down the hill, bullets had to pass over them,” she said.
After at least two rounds of ammunition hit the vehicle, the suspect turned the car around and was able to leave, possibly after driving through Scott Pearson’s Trail. The car was later found abandoned near South 31st and Washington streets.
There were bullet holes in the car, Hadow said.
The suspect was arrested
A 40-year-old suspect was found and arrested in the same area on Tuesday night.
Head said the man had a wound to his head from Monday’s incident. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Upon his release, he will be arrested for possession of stolen property and assault. The accusation of the attack is related to the movement towards citizens, Hedow said.
The case will be referred to the prosecutor’s office to determine whether charges will be brought against the shooter.
This story was originally published May 31, 2022 8:14 p.m.