Tacoma police officer shot dead, barricaded suspect killed
This post has been updated.
Katie Mettler reports: After a nearly 12-hour standoff with multiple law enforcement agencies in Tacoma, Wash., a 38-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a police officer Wednesday was killed by a single bullet from a SWAT team member early Thursday morning.
“We’ve suffered a great loss and I think the community has suffered a great loss. And I don’t know how to put that into words other than to say that everyone here appreciates the kind thoughts and the prayers that are going out to us.”
— police spokeswoman, Loretta Cool
The man, whose name has not been released, had barricaded himself inside a three-story home on the city’s east side late Wednesday afternoon after unleashing bullets on two Tacoma officers who had responded to the residence after reports of a verbal domestic dispute between two people.
“They showed great patience and restraint to make sure those kids were out safe. The whole situation is horrible. We have a deceased officer, but we have a whole lot of heroic ones that went in and got those kids.”
The man’s wife and another woman were able to escape the gunfire Wednesday, reported the News Tribune, but local authorities did not say until after the suspect was killed that two young children remained inside the home throughout the extensive standoff.
The boy and the girl, believed to be aged 8 and 11, respectively, were rescued from the home by a SWAT team around 3:20 a.m. local time Thursday, and were taken to the hospital for an evaluation, authorities said.
Police knew all along that the two children were trapped inside with the gunman, but didn’t share that information with the public for “tactical reasons,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer told The Washington Post.
“Our priority was to make sure those kids were safe,” Troyer said. “We weren’t going to let those children get hurt.”
Troyer couldn’t say exactly how authorities managed to pull the children to safety, but he told The Post that there were negotiators outside the home and law enforcement officers inside the home who “never left” for the duration of the standoff. The man, who was armed with multiple weapons, had barricaded himself and the two children in an upstairs bedroom and refused to let them go, Troyer said.
The sheriff’s department SWAT team was able to rescue one of the children, Troyer said, then separate him from the second. Before he could reach his weapons, a SWAT officer fired a single, fatal round, and authorities were able to safely remove the children from the home. Read the rest of this entry »
Laura Zuckerman reports: U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl‘s hometown, feeling a backlash over allegations that he was a deserter, has canceled a rally planned for later this month celebrating his release from five years of Taliban captivity, city officials said on Wednesday.
“The family needs time to heal.”
In calling off the June 28 event, the officials cited concerns that they lacked the resources to safely manage the thousands of supporters and protesters who were expected to converge on the small mountain community of 8,000 residents.
“I’m not unhappy it’s been canceled.”
The decision came as pressure mounted to cancel the rally in the face of rising hostility, expressed in a torrent of emails and phone calls directed at city officials and businesses, over claims by Bergdahl’s onetime Army comrades that he deliberately abandoned his post in Afghanistan…(read more) Reuters