Crime

Wounded suspect didn't fire gun

The man shot twice by a Pierce County Sheriff's deputy near Parkland after a short police pursuit this week did not fire his handgun at the officer, a sheriff's spokesman said Thursday.

Detectives initially believed the man, 25, had fired a single shot at the deputy Wednesday because they found his handgun's chamber open and a live round on the ground, said sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

The Pierce County man, who's under guard in Tacoma General Hospital, told investigators he didn't shoot at the deputy. He told detectives that his gun kicked out the live round and it jammed when he tried to load another round, Troyer said. The man, who was wanted on a felony burglary warrant, said also he was suicidal and was disappointed the deputy only shot him in the arm and leg, Troyer said. "He was hoping that we would finish him off, " Troyer said.

The deputy who shot the man is Andy Guerrero, who has worked in the sheriff's office for 13 years, he said. Guerrero, 43, has been on patrol for five years. He has been placed on paid, three-day leave.

The incident started at about 2 p.m. Wednesday when a Washington State Patrol trooper tried to stop the man, who was driving a stolen Chevy Blazer, near Pacific Avenue South and 121st Street East. The man sped away, and the trooper chased the vehicle for 10 blocks before it struck a car and telephone pole.

The man and a 19-year-old female passenger got out and ran, but the trooper caught the woman near the vehicle. The man made it to a house in the 1400 block of 121st Street East where he asked for help from two men working on a fence.

Guerrero showed up at the house and eventually shot the man once in the arm and once in the leg. The man then put the gun to his head and threatened to kill himself. A State Patrol trooper persuaded the man to hand over the weapon.

The woman passenger was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and felony eluding, he said. She was to be released from the Pierce County Jail Thursday night, and will likely be charged after further investigation, Troyer said.

The State Patrol and sheriff's office is investigating the incident.

Paul Sand: 253.597.8268

paul.sand@thenewstribune.com

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