Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were justified in using deadly force against a 28-year-old man who shot at them from a storage unit as they tried to tow his car last year, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Chase Houston, who died of a gunshot to his abdomen, had methamphetamines, marijuana and oxycodone in his system at the time, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Prosecutor’s Office gave this account of Houston’s death:
Authorities went to check on him Dec. 3, after his family said he was living in a storage unit near 216th Street and state Route 7 and making irrational comments on the phone and Internet.
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He was high on meth and armed, the family said, and when authorities called him, he threatened to kill anyone who tried to contact him.
Houston failed to cooperate with commands from a SWAT team after a negotiator convinced him to come out of the unit. When the deputies fired non-lethal projectiles meant to subdue him, he went back inside.
As SWAT members worked to tow Houston’s car away outside the unit he fired through the garage door, wounding one official in the arm.
A pair of SWAT team members fired at Houston until the gunfire from inside the unit stopped. When they entered they found Houston dead with a handgun next to him.
The names of the deputies involved were not immediately available.