Crime

Officials clear deputies in shooting

Prosecutors have decided that four Pierce County sheriff's deputies were justified in June when they fatally shot a South Hill man who pointed a pistol at them.

"There are no facts, statements or evidence in dispute, " a statement from Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne reads. "The officers involved acted in strict conformity with Washington state law."

Deputies Inga Carey, Gavin Foster, Brian Thompson, and Dave Shaffer were called to Larry Alan Peterson's home shortly after 8 p.m. June 21.

They had received reports that Peterson, 54, had been firing a gun near his home in the 12600 block of 134th Street Court East about 8 p.m.

Peterson was outside the house, holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill himself, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Deputies tried to get him to put down his gun.

Peterson fired one shot into the ground and pointed his gun in the general direction of the deputies. The deputies continued to try to negotiate with Peterson.

When he raised his handgun and pointed it at them, the deputies shot and killed him, prosecutors reported.

A toxicology report revealed Peterson's blood-alcohol level was .18, a level that would be considered evidence of extreme intoxication. He also had drugs, including marijuana and opiates, in his system, the Prosecutor's Office reported.

Horne ruled Peterson's death was a justifiable homicide.

Dr. John Howard, the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office, decided not to call a inquest in the shooting.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268

stacey.mulick@thenewstribune.com

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