Tacoma police late Thursday shot and killed a woman who drove at officers as they tried to approach a man wanted for robbery.
The woman was identified as Jacqueline D. Salyers, 32.
It started about 11:45 p.m. in the 3300 block of South Sawyer Street as police searched for Kenneth Wright Jr., a 32-year-old homeless man who is wanted on two outstanding warrants for first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
Two officers spotted Wright in the passenger seat of a vehicle, got out of their patrol car and started to walk toward the car.
Never miss a local story.
Salyers, who was behind the wheel, hit the gas pedal and drove straight at the officers, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
One officer fired at the driver and struck her at least once. Wright got out of the vehicle armed with a rifle and fled on foot, Cool said.
The officers tried to help Salyers and summoned paramedics, but she died at the scene.
Police blocked off a large area from South M Street to Hosmer Street and from South 38th Street to South Wright Avenue looking for Wright. A SWAT team did a yard-to-yard search for nearly six hours but were unable to find Wright.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911. Wright is described as black, 6-feet-1 and 195 pounds.
The 30-year-old officer who shot Salyers has been on the force for two years and has been in law enforcement for eight years. He was placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated, which is standard procedure.
His partner, 33, has been with the Tacoma Police Department for 10 years.
Neither officer was injured.
One of the warrants Wright is wanted on stems from a Nov. 10 robbery of a Safeway grocery store in Pierce County. When a loss prevention officer confronted Wright and two women about shoplifting, Wright pointed a gun at the officer and told him to back off, according to charging papers.
He was later arrested at a nearby home, where court documents indicate he lived with Salyers. Police found three handguns, a shotgun and two ballistic vests in the house, records show. He bailed out and prosecutors later charged him with the crime.
If Wright was convicted in the case, it would have been his third strike and he would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.
Wright has seven felony convictions, including one for drive-by shooting, and nine misdemeanor convictions.
Tacoma Public Schools on Friday closed Jennie Reed Elementary School, which is about three blocks from the scene, in case Wright was still hiding in the area. The district sent a recorded call and email to parents notifying them, and also posted closure notices on social media.
School district spokesman Dan Voelpel said police cordoned off the neighborhood near Reed, so the district closed the school. He said that after parents at another area school, Whitman Elementary, expressed concern, the principal and district security director decided to place that school in a modified lockdown, meaning entry doors were locked. Middle and high schools in the area were not affected because those schools had the day off for a semester break.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653