Crime

Puyallup officers say one man - not two - was involved in a burglary and shooting

Puyallup police detectives think that only one man was involved in a burglary and shooting last week that sparked an hourslong manhunt and the lockdown of three Puyallup schools, a police spokeswoman said Monday.

Michael Joseph Fong, believed to be in his 20s, was arrested after Friday's shooting. He initially told detectives that another man had been with him, and that the man had fled during the incident, Puyallup police spokeswoman Lorri Ericson said.

Fong, who was charged Monday with first-degree burglary, offered police a description of the man, the direction he ran and where he might have gone, but detectives now believe Fong acted alone, Ericson said.

"I don't know if it was because (Fong) admitted it, or because they have come to that conclusion based on the interview, " Ericson said.

Bolstering the case for a second man, the owner of the house that Fong allegedly burglarized reported that two guns were missing, she said. Police found one of the weapons, a shotgun, outside the house but couldn't account for the other one, Ericson said. The homeowner later told police that a relative had borrowed the second gun and he hadn't known about it, she said.

The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. Friday when officers responded to a burglary in the 2400 block of 18th Street Southeast. Shots were fired, but Ericson said she's not sure if an officer, Fong, or both discharged their weapons.

"Anytime there's gunfire with an officer involved, it takes a lot of time to get the details, " she said.

Officers took Fong into custody, and he then told them a second man had fled during the gunfire.

Police sealed the area and launched a search, which lasted about six hours.

They also locked down three schools in the area, including Wildwood Park Elementary, 1601 26th Ave. S.E.; Sunrise Elementary, 2323 39th Ave. S.E.; and Ferrucci Junior High, 3213 Wildwood Park Drive.

More than 1,800 students from the three schools were held for hours as police searched the area for the man.

Puyallup School District officials announced at 5:30 p.m. that students could begin to leave the schools with their parents.

Puyallup police are continuing to investigate, Ericson said.

Paul Sand: 253-597-8268

paul.sand@thenewstribune.com

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