Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

2 Pierce County Sheriff's deputies wounded during SWAT arrest attempt, suspect dead

Pierce County government offices at the County City Building in Tacoma
Courtesy of Pierce County

Two sheriff’s deputies were shot and wounded and a man was killed in an exchange of gunfire as the deputies tried to arrest the man south of Tacoma, Washington, authorities said.

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer said the shooting happened Tuesday near the community of Spanaway as members of a SWAT team tried to arrest a 40-year-old man for investigation of felony assault with a firearm.

The man fired at deputies and deputies fired back, Troyer said in a media briefing Tuesday afternoon. The name of the man shot and killed hasn't been released.

One of the deputies, a 35-year-old man who has worked for the sheriff's department for seven years, was in “grave condition," according to Troyer.

“We’re told that we need to prepare for the worst," Troyer said. “Everybody’s praying for a miracle.”

The other deputy, a 45-year-old man who has been with the sheriff's department for 21 years, was in surgery Tuesday afternoon and is expected to survive, according to Troyer.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department just after 12 p.m. Tuesday tweeted about heavy police activity and later said two deputies had been shot and taken to an area hospital.

Tacoma police spokesperson Wendy Haddow told reporters the SWAT team began its operation Tuesday morning and that the first call for medical help came at about 11:50 a.m.

Victor Perez, 51, told the News Tribune he was at his screen printing and embroidery business when he heard sirens and saw patrol cars speeding to the scene. He said he heard yells from across the street, but didn’t hear gunshots.

The Pierce County Force Investigation Team, led by the Tacoma Police Department, will investigate the incident, according to the sheriff's department.

Updated: March 16, 2022 at 1:59 PM PDT
UPDATES: throughout with more information about officers, suspect, quotes