Crystal Mountain

State trooper fires at suicidal Spanaway man, misses

Staff writerSeptember 13, 2013 

A veteran Washington State trooper fired a shot at a Spanaway man Friday after the man, who was reportedly suicidal and armed, led the trooper on a low-speed chase then jumped out of his van and made a gesture the trooper found threatening, authorities said.

The shot missed, and the trooper and a U.S. Forest Service ranger tracked the man down and arrested him, State Patrol spokesman Chris Webb said.

The man, 30, likely would be committed to Western State Hospital for a mental-health evaluation, Webb said.

The action began some after 2 p.m. after the man texted a number of friends from a parking lot at the Crystal Mountain ski resort, telling them he was suicidal, Webb said.

A trooper was dispatched to investigate.

The man left the parking lot at low speed with the trooper in pursuit, turned west on state Route 410 and drove about half a mile before exiting onto a Forest Service road, Webb said. The man asked troopers a number of times to shoot him during the chase, the spokesman said.

At one point, he jumped out of his van, dropping a rifle as he did so, then turned back toward the trooper and made a gesture of some kind, Webb said. Fearing for his life, the trooper fired a single shot that missed.

Webb said it was likely the trooper would be placed on administrative leave while the State Patrol and possibly the King County Sheriff's Office investigate the incident.


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