A man who had been recklessly driving opened fire on Puyallup police Friday afternoon before they shot and killed him, according to department officials.
Police were dispatched about 4 p.m. to a report of the man acting erratically near the Puyallup Recreation Center, 808 Valley Ave. NW, interim Police Chief Scott Engle said. Fife police had received an earlier call of a reckless driver on Valley Avenue.
About half an hour later, he fired at least two shots, Engle said. Seven officers returned fire, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other people were injured.
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The first responding Puyallup officer found the man’s car in the middle of Valley Avenue with a shotgun inside, Puyallup police spokesman Ryan Portmann said.
The officer went around to the back of the building and heard a gunshot coming from the south side of the recreation center, Portmann said.
The officer then called for backup, which came from officers from Puyallup, Milton and Fife, as well as Pierce County sheriff’s deputies.
The man crouched behind a utility pole and took a defensive position. Officers approached to within about 50 yards to attempt to communicate with the man, Portmann said, but he wouldn’t respond.
The man fired his rifle at least once, which prompted seven officers — five from Puyallup and two from Milton — to return fire, killing him, Portmann said.
The recreation center was occupied during the shooting, and its occupants were evacuated to a safe part of the building.
The man’s identity and age were unknown in the wake of the shooting, Portmann said. It is unclear whether the man was traveling alone.
The Metro Cities Crime Response Unit, a conglomerate of Pierce County’s smaller law enforcement agencies, is investigating the shooting.
The man was the fourth person killed in officer-involved shootings in Pierce County over the past week. Pierce County sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney was fatally shot late Sunday while responding to a home-invasion robbery in Frederickson, in which one suspect fatally shot himself. Tacoma police also fatally shot a man in a gunbattle at a burning home that night. A Pierce County deputy also shot at the driver of a stolen car after the driver allegedly tried to hit him early Friday in South Hill.
“We’ve had a rough week,” Engle said.