Crime

Fife officer shoots at suspected robbers after being dragged behind vehicle

A Fife police officer said he fired at an SUV with two robbery suspects inside Monday after he was dragged by the car, which then attempted to run him down.

The pair, a man and a woman, then led police on a pursuit down Interstate 5 and into Tacoma, shooting at officers from the back of their vehicle, police said.

The suspects escaped, and the Ford Explorer they were driving was found abandoned in Spanaway with bullet holes.

One or both of the suspects might have been injured in the shooting, Fife police Lt. Tom Thompson said.

Police gave this account:

The incident started about 1:15 a.m. when a woman called 911 to report she’d nearly been robbed at a gunpoint in the 1500 block of Port of Tacoma Road by a man named Phil.

The woman, who identified herself as Sheri, provided a description and license plate of a dark blue Ford Explorer. An officer found an Explorer matching that description and moved to speak with the man and woman inside.

The officer ended up in a struggle with the woman, who put the vehicle into reverse and briefly dragged the officer. It’s unclear what led to the struggle.

The woman then drove toward the officer, who fired at the Explorer.

Another officer, in the area trying to find the woman who reported the attempted robbery, began chasing the Explorer onto southbound I-5.

“The pursuing officer reported two bright flashes from within the vehicle, heard two loud pops and observed the rear window of the suspect vehicle shatter,” according to a police statement.

“The pursuing officer, believing they were being fired upon, took evasive action and created distance.”

Officers last saw the Explorer in the 4600 block of G Street in Tacoma.

The officer who was dragged behind the Explorer was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and released. The officer involved in the pursuit was not hurt.

The woman who reported the attempted robbery has not been found either.

Police released several surveillance photos from a store near where the incident started, showing people associated with the Explorer.

Anyone with information on the suspected robbers or the Explorer was asked to call Lt. Thompson at 253-896-8287 or Tacoma-Pierce County Crimestoppers at 253-591-5959.

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