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Pierce County Council candidate won't be charged for shooting man

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Pierce County Council candidate Josh Harris will not be charged with any crimes following a shooting in which Harris fired at a man driving a vehicle at him in Tacoma.

The county prosecuting attorney’s office said that an investigation showed Harris acted in self defense, KING5 reported. The man who was shot will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that on May 30, Harris was in a wooded area near a homeless camp looking for stolen property and found two suspected stolen vehicles. It wasn't clear why Harris was looking for stolen property or what property he was specifically looking for in that area.

He said a woman in a tent told him a man there knew of Harris and had threatened to kill him.

Police arrived, confirmed one vehicle was stolen and began walking to the wooded area. At that time, someone in the stolen vehicle drove up a path past the officers and Harris fired multiple rounds at the windshield, hitting the driver, according to the investigation findings.

The driver stopped, and sped away from Harris in reverse, the investigation said.

Harris said the driver had his left hand outside the window and it appeared he was holding a gun. Harris’ account of what happened was corroborated by five people, including two officers who were wearing body cameras.

The investigation determined the shooting was justified because either Harris or others nearby would have been hit by the vehicle. The driver was later found at the encampment with gunshot wounds that were non-life-threatening.

Harris, who owns a construction company, is running for a council seat as a pro-law enforcement candidate, The Seattle Times reported. Harris also paid $300,000 to bail out three Tacoma police officers charged in the death of a Black man, Manuel Ellis, from a lack of oxygen caused by restraint. Harris' brother is also a Tacoma police chaplain.