Tacoma teacher’s killer died by suicide, ruling says

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that the gunman who killed a Tacoma special education teacher in February committed suicide.

The Medical Examiner’s Office had been awaiting the results of forensic tests before ruling on the manner of death of Jed Waits, 30.

Waits died of a gunshot wound to the head about 20 minutes after he shot Jennifer Paulson, 30, as she walked to Birney Elementary School on Feb. 26.

A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy shot Waits twice after he fled following Paulson’s killing and detectives had been looking into whether he committed suicide as the deputy fired.

The second shooting happened after deputy Eric Honeycutt spotted Waits’ vehicle in the parking lot of a day-care center off 160th Street East in Pierce County.

According to sheriff’s investigators, Waits got out of the car, pulled a gun, and he and the deputy fired their guns. The deputy was not injured.

Stacey Mulick, staff writer