Suspect in Spanaway standoff thought he was God, threatened to harm others

Staff writerDecember 4, 2013 

Firefighters and police wait Tuesday at the front of Garage Plus Storage on Mountain Highway in Spanaway as a Sheriff’s Department SWAT team confronts a man farther back in the facility who had shot a deputy then retreated into a storage unit. The suspected shooter was later found dead.

PETER HALEY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Signs of trouble were apparent before a Spanaway man barricaded himself in a storage unit Tuesday, prompting a SWAT standoff that ended after the man shot at deputies and was killed by return fire.

An autopsy conducted Wednesday showed 30-year-old Chase Houston died of a gunshot wound.

"One bullet round hit him, and it appeared to be from us," said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

Three sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a shooting.

Houston's wife filed for a protection order against him two hours before people at Garage Plus Storage on Mountain Highway East called 911 because he allegedly was threatening to kill himself and others.

In the order, Houston's wife expressed concern for the safety of herself and the couple's 6-year-old daughter because Houston allegedly had been using methamphetamine and believed himself to be God.

She said Houston planned to lock himself in the storage unit where he'd been staying with his guns and ammunition. Authorities said multiple firearms and body armor were found in the unit.

Houston's wife said she left him before Thanksgiving but he repeatedly contacted her, "saying I’m the devil and I will burn in hell and God wants my daughter," according to court records. "He has a lot of guns and is not stable at this moment."

After being alerted about Houston, a SWAT team was summoned to the storage unit in the 21600 block of Mountain Highway East about 3:30 p.m. About 45 minutes later, he allegedly opened fire on deputies.

One was struck in the arm after his body armor deflected a bullet to the chest. He is expected to survive. Two deputies returned fire, killing Houston.

Houston wrote on Facebook Tuesday that he was God and if anyone, including police, tried to touch him, "I will rip out your throat." He said he’d recorded a rap song with God and they were going to change the world.

Friends commented on his posts, expressing their concern and urging him to seek help.

He also posted several rap songs to SoundCloud on Tuesday with titles including, "If you do not listen you will burn!," "Think you know me" and "Last night was hell tomorrow brings light."

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
Stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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