Prosecutor: Sheriff deputy’s fatal shooting of former JBLM soldier justified

A Pierce County sheriff’s deputy was justified in fatally shooting a former Army soldier at a University Place apartment in March, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Thursday.

Brian McLeod, 25, died after being shot twice in the abdomen by deputy J. Sousley during a confrontation March 21.

Lindquist said Sousley had little choice but to shoot McLeod when the former soldier came to the door of the apartment armed with a shotgun and raised it toward the deputy and a Fircrest police officer.

“Deputy Sousley was unfortunately put in a position where deadly force was necessary to protect himself and others,” the prosecutor said.

Sousley and the Fircrest officer were dispatched to the apartment after someone called 911 to report a fight going on inside.

Sousley and the officer knocked on the door and were greeted by a bloodied man who said he’d been stabbed by someone inside who also had a gun, according to a statement releasedThursday by the Prosecutor’s Office.

McLeod then came to the door armed with a shotgun and ignored Sousley’s commands to drop the weapon, the statement said.

When McLeod raised the gun in the direction of the officers, Sousley opened fire, according to the statement.

County Medical Examiner Thomas Clark said McLeod had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of his death.

McLeod’s family had called for a medical examiner’s inquest into the shooting, but county officials declined. An inquest is an independent review in which witnesses are called into open court to answer questions.

County officials instead used their normal procedures in investigating the shooting, which included inquiries by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department.

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