An armed man fatally shot by seven Tacoma police officers outside a burning house has been identified as Michael Bender, 27.
Firefighters were called to the home in the 400 block of South 59th Street about 10:45 p.m. Sunday and found heavy flames coming from the garage.
Minutes later, police were told a man had walked out of the burning home and was crawling on the lawn with a rifle.
Neighbors reported hearing explosions and possible gunshots, prompting several 911 calls. Some told dispatchers they were worried about a man who appeared to be drunk and was acting bizarrely.
Officers responded shortly afterward and found Bender walking back toward the home from Pacific Avenue.
They ordered him to put down his rifle but he allegedly refused.
The investigation is ongoing but police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said Bender and the officers “exchanged gunfire.”
No officers were injured.
Bender was pronounced dead at the scene.
Involved in the shooting were a female officer on the department for two years and six male officers who have been with the department for time spans ranging from seven months to 18 years.
The department has not yet named the officers, who are all on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653