Crime

Pierce County deputies involved in two shootings on same day are identified

Two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies who shot suspects in separate confrontations on the same day have been identified.

Both shootings took place Sept. 21, one near Midland and the other in Port Orchard after a high-speed pursuit.

Investigators have not released details about what prompted Deputy Carl Shanks, a 16-year veteran of the department, to fire at a 35-year-old man.

The man fled when deputies tried to pull him over in an Acura Integra with expired tags and reportedly drove recklessly – running traffic lights and swerving across lanes – until his tires were flattened by Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies and his car was forced to a stop.

“During contact with the suspect, a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy fired multiple shots at the vehicle, injuring the driver,” the department wrote in a news release.

Shanks was the only deputy to fire his weapon.

The driver was taken to a hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive. His passenger, a 23-year-old woman, was not hit by gunfire but was taken to the hospital for an unrelated medical problem.

An hour later, Deputy Robert LaTour was called to a home in the 2000 block of 78th Street Court near Midland by a woman concerned about her 40-year-old son.

The son, later identified as Matthew Wells, was allegedly on methamphetamine, armed with a knife and suicidal over a recent breakup.

Wells spoke with deputies for a while from the room where he’d locked himself in, but eventually broke through the door with a knife and charged deputies, investigators said.

LaTour, a 10-year veteran of the department, shot Wells. Wells died at the scene.

Both Shanks and LaTour were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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