No weapons found where Puyallup police officer shot suspect

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives investigating the shooting of a drug suspect by a Puyallup police officer found no weapons at the shooting scene, officials said Wednesday.

The 22-year-old Puyallup man was shot twice shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday after fleeing from officers at the South Hill Mall, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. His wounds were not considered life-threatening, and the man was under guard at Tacoma General Hospital, Troyer said.

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old officer who shot the man was on paid administrative leave, standard procedure when an officer fires a weapon. The officer has been with the department for two years. The department did not release the name of the officer, who was not hurt in the incident.

The Sheriff’s Department was investigating the shooting because it ended in the county. The Puyallup Police Department will review the shooting to see whether the officer acted according to the agency’s policies and procedures.

Investigators had yet to talk with the officer about what happened, Troyer said.

“There was a confrontation,” he said. “Shots were fired.”

The incident began in the parking lot of the South Hill Mall after security officers called Puyallup police to report the man might be doing drugs in a vehicle. A police officer tried to contact the man but he drove off at high speed with police in pursuit.

The pursuit was called off but another Puyallup police officer spotted the man’s vehicle and got behind him. The man drove his vehicle into a ditch at 128th Street East and 62nd Avenue East and then ran down the road and about 75 yards into the woods.

The officer followed the man into the woods, Troyer said. Witnesses, including other Puyallup officers who had come to the crash scene, heard some verbal commands being shouted before the shots were fired, Troyer said.

The man was taken into custody and then transferred to the hospital.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268