Prosecutor says Lakewood officers justified in killing man

Two Lakewood police officers were justified in fatally shooting a man who engaged them in a gunfight after a high-speed chase last year, authorities said Friday.

Officers Ryan Moody and Jon Waller had “no choice” but to shoot Michael David Crawford on Dec. 9, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.

“Mr. Crawford was in a stolen car, wearing body armor and was packing a loaded handgun,” Lindquist said. “Mr. Crawford fled from police and fired at them, leaving officers no choice but to return fire.”

Moody and Waller spotted Crawford, 35, driving a stolen car on Interstate 5 near Tillicum and tried to pull him over. Instead of stopping, Crawford fled, eventually exiting onto Portland Avenue, where he lost control of the car and crashed, authorities said.

Moody’s and Waller’s patrol car hit Crawford’s vehicle. Crawford then fired at least one shot at the officers, who returned fire and killed him.

Investigators found a 9 mm handgun in Crawford’s car and said he was wearing a ballistic-type vest and homemade body armor that included a helmet with metal plates duct-taped to it.