Driver dies in Tacoma while being taken into police custody

Aug 10, 2022, 5:44 PM
(KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

The Pierce County Force Investigation Team is investigating after a driver died as authorities took them into custody in Tacoma on Tuesday night.

According to Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler, at 7:39 p.m., a Washington State Patrol trooper tried to stop a red Ford truck in the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue.

The driver of the truck almost hit a pedestrian and then ran a red light at 45th Street.

Based on that, the trooper thought the driver was severely impaired and continued trying to stop them as they drove south on Pacific Avenue.

The trooper said the truck was going 40 mph on sidewalks and was a danger to pedestrians. The driver then reversed direction just south of 84th Street and went north on Pacific Avenue.

The truck then turned east on 84th Street, when the driver either jumped or was ejected from the truck. The truck went between a high-voltage distribution pole and a light pole before hitting the light pole and crashing into the wall of an AM/PM gas station.

Other troopers on the scene said the person was waving a gun, which was later discovered to be a knife.

The person was not compliant, and troopers used nonlethal methods to subdue them and take them into custody with the help of Tacoma Police.

Medical aid responded and treated the person, but while being treated, the person tried kicking law enforcement and firefighters.

Within minutes, police said, the person stopped breathing and firefighters began CPR. The person was unable to be revived and was pronounced dead more than 30 minutes after CPR was initiated.

WSP requested PCFIT conduct the investigation.


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Driver dies in Tacoma while being taken into police custody