Pierce Co. deputy opens fire after suspect tries to ram patrol car

KOMO photo

SOUTH HILL, Wash. - A deputy opened fire at a suspect in a stolen car who tried to ram the deputy's patrol vehicle during a wild early morning pursuit south of Puyallup, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office reports.

The driver of the stolen car was not hit by the gunfire and was taken into custody at the scene, along with his female passenger. The deputy was not injured, said Pierce County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ed Troyer.

The drama unfolded at about 4 a.m. when the deputy spotted a stolen beige 1994 Honda Accord near Sunrise Boulevard East and Meridian East, sheriff's officials said.

The deputy tried to stop the stolen car, but the driver would not pull over, made multiple turns through residential areas and turned off his headlights - all with the deputy in pursuit.

As the two vehicles neared Pope Elementary School, the driver of the stolen car rammed the deputy's patrol car, and the deputy was able to stop the stolen car with a pivoting PIT maneuver. But when the deputy exited his cruiser to make an arrest, the suspect put the stolen car into reverse and tried to back over the deputy, Troyer said.

The deputy then fired two shots into the rear window of the stolen car.

The driver of the stolen car, a 26-year-old man, and his 19-year-old female passenger gave up after the shots were fired and were taken into custody.

"The suspect is lucky he is still alive," Troyer said.

He said the stolen car appears to be packed full of stolen and shoplifted property. An unoccupied car parked along the street was also damaged during the crash.

Investigators said the suspect is a convicted felon with a history of possession of stolen property and motor vehicle theft.

He and his passenger were treated at the scene for minor injuries sustained in the crash, but neither one was hit by the gunfire.

The deputy who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave during the initial investigation, in accordance with standard procedure.

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