A woman accused of driving two suspected burglars to the home where a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy was killed has been arrested.
Detectives say the 52-year-old was supposed to be the getaway driver, but when everything went sideways, she took off and abandoned them.
“We were able to determine that she was the lady who drove the two suspects to the scene. When police started to show up and shots were fired she left,” Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said.
As his funeral is planned, the investigation into the death of Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney continues.
Jesus Villahermosa, a 30-year-veteran of the force, explained what detectives will look at computer databases across the country and cross-reference the two suspects, examining who they associated with.
He says the investigation is really just beginning.
The second suspect in the fatal shooting of Deputy McCartney was located and arrested after a day-long manhunt on Monday. The second suspect, a 32-year-old man, will likely face a first-degree murder charge.
An alert deputy noticed the man during the search. The suspect attempted to give the deputy a fake name and was held on unrelated warrants.
Detective: This is becoming too frequent
“It’s been a long night, we’ve notified the family that has occurred,” Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said after they took the suspect into custody. “… there is a big sigh of relief. At this point we don’t know if there is another suspect, but what we do know is we got our two main suspects.”
Pierce County detectives say that the 32-year-old man is “responsible for the murder” of Deputy McCartney, 34.
Deputy McCartney responded with others to an armed burglary in Frederickson late Sunday night. He was the first to arrive on scene.
Deputy McCartney was shot while pursuing the suspects alone and later died at the hospital.
McCartney, a Navy veteran, was a father of three.
“This is really sad. This is a really good guy,” Troyer told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don. “This guy that was killed was 34-years-old, married. He has three boys – 4, 6, and 9.”
After the incident, the area was closed off by police. Troyer said that a state trooper encountered an individual a few blocks away from the scene around 8:10 a.m. The trooper was controlling traffic in the 20300 block of 42nd Avenue East. The individual did not match the initial description of the second suspect and gave a fake name to the trooper. After further questioning, the person’s real name was discovered. The 32-year-old man had three felony warrants for his arrest out of Shelton and was arrested for obstruction.
Once an updated description of the suspect was provided to officers, it led authorities to the man arrested for obstruction earlier in the day. Troyer said that the suspect will be booked for “murder 1” and is expected to be arraigned in a Pierce County court Tuesday.
Burglary and shooting
McCartney responded with other officers to an armed burglary in Frederickson — the area of 45th Avenue Court East and 200th Street East — around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night. The residents were inside the home at the time of the incident. Troyer said that deputies had been called to the house in the past and it was known to them.
Two suspects fled the scene when deputies arrived and pursued them. There was an exchange of gunfire. One suspect was shot and died at the scene. He is described as a 34- or 35-year-old male. McCartney was also shot. The deputy was taken to an area hospital in critical condition where he later died.
The second suspect prompted the manhunt. He was described as follows: “Unidentified male, mixed race or white, tall, thin, curly dark hair in ponytail, large pointy nose, pock marks on right side of face; wearing dark hooded sweatshirt, black beanie.”
“Our physical descriptions come by witnesses …” Det. Troyer told Ron and Don. “It turns out he was wearing a black hoody with a black ski mask-type hat over his face, so the original people who saw him thought he was a black male. Then as we do more interviews, people who saw him up close said he was a white guy. So we changed it to a white male this morning. (That description) was the same as the guy we put in jail this morning. It started matching the description even more. We were able to take our teams of detectives and put enough evidence together to tie him to the shooting and put him in jail.”
One pistol was found at the scene, but Troyer said it is unclear whether that gun was that of the dead suspect or the one on the run. A second weapon was also found at the scene hours later.
The area around the shooting was closed for hours as the search and investigation was underway.
The Bethel School District was closed “out of abundance of caution” due to the shooting.
A Legacy Fund has been established for Deputy McCartney. One hundred percent of the donations go to his family. Donations can be made here.