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Police shooting of Sumner man called justified

The fatal police shooting of a drunken, suicidal Pierce County man is ruled justified by the county prosecutor.

Members of a tactical SWAT team were dispatched to a home in Sumner last Oct. 24 when a man called 911, claiming he was armed with a .357 handgun, was suicidal and holding a hostage.

In reviewing the shooting, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Patrick Dunford came out of the house holding what looked like an orange-painted handgun, ignored police commands and advanced on officers, eventually pointed his weapon at Sumner police officer Zack Kenyon, who shot him dead with his duty rifle.

After the shooting, police discovered that Dunford's weapon was a loaded flare gun. It turned out there was no hostage, Dunford had a blood alcohol level of .29 and had left several suicide notes.

Lindquist ruled the shooting justified, calling it a sad case of "suicide by cop."

About the Author

Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.


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