The man was trying to pick fights Wednesday night inside the bar, challenging people to take him on.
He got no takers.
After some patrons tried to calm him down and persuade him to leave, they spotted a gun in his pocket and felt the body armor beneath his shirt.
That’s when they filled in the bartender, who called Tacoma police.
Officers arrived at the bar in the 3500 block of McKinley Avenue about 10:45 p.m. The man was standing outside when police arrived, but took off running as they approached him.
Officers were about 15 feet behind the man when he turned into an alley, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Thursday.
“When they followed him, he was reaching into his waistband,” she said.
One of the officers fired a single round, which did not hit the man but startled him so much he dropped to the ground and complied with police orders.
He was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. The officer who fired his gun was placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, which is standard procedure after an officer fires his or her weapon.
Cool declined to say whether a gun was found at the scene, citing an ongoing investigation.
An officer heading to the shooting crashed his patrol car into a light pole, shearing it in half.
Two officers inside the car suffered minor injuries. The car was wrecked; it was not immediately known how much it will cost to replace the vehicle.
The officers were traveling east on Center Street when the driver slammed on the brakes and swerved around a car in front of them, causing the officer to lose control, Cool said. The patrol car hit a light pole near South Tyler Street.
The other driver did not stop after the officers crashed, Cool said.