No charges for deputies who shot Sonntag

Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne said Monday he won't file criminal charges against two Pierce County sheriff's deputies who fatally shot a member of the Sonntag family in June.

Sheriff's deputies killed Jack Homer Sonntag, 25, the son of former Tacoma City Councilman Dick Sonntag and nephew of state Auditor Brian Sonntag, early June 29. The shooting came after the intoxicated Sonntag shot and wounded a Washington state trooper.

In a news release issued Monday afternoon, Horne said an investigation had found that the officers involved "acted in strict conformity" with Washington law.

Just before midnight June 28, Trooper Kelly Kalmbach pulled over Sonntag's car in the 19600 block of Mountain Highway East. She suspected the driver of the 2000 Lincoln Town Car was drunk.

During the arrest, Sonntag ran to his car and got a handgun and shot Kalmbach five times in her legs and arm.

Sheriff's deputies later found Sonntag, who then fled in his car on foot, near 176th Street and Fifth Avenue Court East in Spanaway.

When Sonntag pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it at them, both deputies opened fire, killing him, the investigation showed. Toxicology reports say Sonntag's blood alcohol was 0.16, twice the legal limit for driving.

Sonntag's father, Dick Sonntag, said Monday that he didn't blame the deputies. He said his son had started drinking two months before his death.

"We don't know why he did what he did, " Dick Sonntag said from his home near Port Orchard. "All we know is we love him very much and we miss him very much, every day. But those deputy sheriffs did nothing wrong."

Karen Hucks: 253-597-8660