Prosecutor: Lakewood Police justified in killing man holding cap gun

Staff writerOctober 3, 2013 

Two Lakewood police officers were justified in opening fire on a 28-year-old man who lunged at them with what turned out to be a cap gun, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced Thursday.

Patrick O'Meara died after being hit three times during a June 18 confrontation with police in the 14900 block of Washington Avenue Southwest.

Police had been seeking O'Meara on a felony arrest warrant, authorities said, when officers Darrell Moore and Jeremy Vahle found him inside a house with a broken front window.

O'Meara was holding a gun to his head and "appeared angry and hostile," Lindquist said in a news release.

Moore and Vahle repeatedly told him to drop the gun but he refused and at one point lunged at them "while moving his gun in their direction," the news release states.

They feared for their lives and opened fire. O'Meara died at the scene. Investigators later determined that the gun was a "realistic, toy-replica handgun," the news release states.

O'Meara was high on meth at the time of his death and allegedly told Lakewood police on previous occasions that he wanted them to kill him, the news release states.

The shooting was investigated by the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office, prosecutors, Lakewood police and the Cooperative Cities/Metro Crime Crime Response Unit.



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