Tacoma Police officer cleared in 2012 death

A Tacoma police officer who fatally shot a woman after she pointed a gun at him Dec. 22 acted justifiably, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced Monday.

Several investigations indicated that Sophia Strickland, 22, wanted officers to kill her.

Her mother called 911 that night to report that Strickland had fired two shots inside their two-story home in the 3500 block of Fawcett Avenue.

Strickland was upstairs when several officers arrived. Still holding a handgun, she came into the kitchen and refused to drop the weapon, officials said. She instead pointed the gun at officer Sean Ovens, who, fearing for his life, fired five shots, striking Strickland once in the chest. She died at the scene.

Police said the shots she fired before the officers arrived might have been an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Blood tests showed Strickland had a potentially lethal amount of methamphetamine in her system at the time of the incident.

“This is another example of why drugs and guns do not mix well,” Lindquist said.