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Suspected shooter surrenders; standoff in Tacoma over

After a tense, four hour standoff in a Tacoma neighborhood, police say a suspected shooter surrendered. (Brandi Kruse/KIRO Radio)
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After a tense standoff that lasted for nearly five hours, a man holed up in his home northeast of Tacoma with an arsenal of weapons surrendered to police late Tuesday.

As night fell, Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said negotiations with the suspect were "not going well." A SWAT team fired more than 20 rounds of tear gas and launched several concussion grenades into the man's home in the Fife Heights neighborhood to no avail.

According to Troyer, the man withstood the strongest tear gas in the department's arsenal and told negotiators the only way he was leaving the house was "in a body bag."

The man gave up only after a SWAT negotiator promised his dogs would be taken care of after his arrest.

"So once we set that up and he was comfortable [...] and his friend was going to be there when he came out, he voluntarily surrendered," Troyer said.

The suspect, a 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran, has a history of mental illness and substance abuse issues. Troyer said he was drunk when he terrorized his neighborhood Tuesday afternoon armed with a "high-powered rifle."

A number of people called 911 to report the man was firing a random in the 5800 block of 13th St. Ct. NE around 4:00 p.m.

Neighbors were evacuated from nearby homes. Others were being warned to stay inside.

Troyer said at least three homes and two cars were damaged when the man went door-to-door firing rounds. One neighbor came within six inches of being shot, Troyer said, and another was threatened with a handgun.

No one was injured.

According to a woman who lives down the street from the suspect, he had a long-standing dispute with his next door neighbors and had threatened to "take neighbors out."

"He has a little bit of a drinking problem, but I didn't think that he would do this," Anita Strom said. "I hope he gets help."

According to Troyer, the suspect crashed his truck into a ditch last week and was arrested for DUI. He said alcohol, medication and a small marijuana grow operation could have been factors in the shooting and standoff.

"At this point we don't have a particular trigger or reason this occurred," Troyer said. "We are going to make sure that he gets the help he needs overnight."

Detectives remained at the scene early Wednesday morning and said it could be hours before they could get into the suspect's home to conduct an investigation.


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