Crime

Veteran found not guilty of shooting at Lakewood police

A 29-year-old Army veteran has been found not guilty of firing at Lakewood police during a disturbance at his home last year.

Thomas Lee Oyen had been charged with first-degree assault.

Pierce County prosecutors alleged Oyen fired five or six shots at officers dispatched to investigate a disturbance between Oyen and his girlfriend.

One officer at the scene “described the shots as having been aimed in the direction of the officers because he heard bullets whiz past,” according to court records.

Prosecutors also accused Oyen with being armed with a gun at the time of the crime and of intentionally targeting police. That would have substantially increased his prison time had he been convicted.

But witnesses, including Oyen’s girlfriend and her ex-husband, who served with Oyen in the Army, said he fired off several rounds inside his home before police arrived. He did not target the officers, they said.

“There was maybe one shot fired after police arrived,” former Army colleague Nicholas Boullester told The News Tribune last year. “He didn’t even know they were there.”

Oyen opted for a bench trial instead of a jury trial, and Superior Court Judge John Hickman heard testimony last month.

The judge deliberated for about two days before acquitting Oyen on Thursday.

Oyen, the father of five, served multiple combat tours before being medically discharged from the Army.

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