Tacoma police release name of officer who killed man

The Tacoma Police Department has released the name of a patrol officer who shot and killed a man armed with a gun early Wednesday near Purdy.

Officer Hannah Heilman, 35, has been with the Tacoma Police Department for seven years, the agency announced Friday. She’s been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure when an officer uses deadly force.

Heilman was on her way home early Wednesday after a patrol shift when she spotted a pickup truck driving erratically on state Route 302 on the Key Peninsula. Thinking the driver might be intoxicated, Heilman initiated a traffic stop near 97th Avenue Northwest just after 2 a.m. and requested that a Washington State Patrol trooper respond.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Brooks Papineau got out of the truck wielding a semi-automatic handgun.

Heilman fired several shots at the 54-year-old man. Papineau was struck twice and died a short time later of his injuries.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the deadly shooting because it occurred in their jurisdiction. They found Papineau’s gun at the scene.

They were studying whether Papineau fired the gun at the officer. They now believe that he did not, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Papineau worked for the U.S. Postal Service and had been at work Tuesday night. He left two hours into his 6 p.m. shift, telling co-workers that he was feeling sick, Troyer has said.

Detectives were looking into what Papineau was doing from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and whether he was intoxicated. Troyer has previously said that Papineau smelled of intoxicants at the time.

The Sheriff’s Department’s investigation was continuing.

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office also is conducting an investigation to see whether the shooting was justified under state law. The Tacoma Police Department will handle an administrative investigation into whether Heilman’s actions followed department policy.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268