Crime

Puyallup officers identified after Tuesday’s shootout with gunman

VIDEO: Puyallup community meeting in response to southwest shooting

Puyallup residents gathered Wednesday night at Aylen Junior High School to hear from police about a fatal shooting and subsequent police chase that happened Tuesday, and to ask questions about the incident.
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Puyallup residents gathered Wednesday night at Aylen Junior High School to hear from police about a fatal shooting and subsequent police chase that happened Tuesday, and to ask questions about the incident.

Puyallup police on Thursday released the names of four officers who were placed on administrative leave after engaging with a gunman who killed a longtime resident and shot at several others during an eight-minute chase.

Police Chief Bryan Jeter called the officers’ actions “heroic.”

The man arrested in connection with Tuesday’s shooting spree, Nathan Terault, 34, of Tacoma, remained in the hospital Thursday. He was arrested after being shot in the leg and pinned beneath a police SUV.

Investigators were still trying Thursday to determine what prompted the rampage, which included the shooting death of Richard Johnson, 71.

Police said Terault abandoned his car after driving recklessly in the city and shot Johnson after being confronted for prowling through the man’s pickup truck.

Terault then randomly fired at more than a dozen people, striking 13 houses with bullets, police said. He also carjacked an SUV and fled from officers, police said.

Within a minute of the fatal shooting, officers arrived and then were shot at while chasing the gunman. Bullets hit one patrol car, but no officers were wounded.

Teraut was taken into custody after a plainclothes detective shot and wounded him and a patrol officer hit him with a police car, pinning him to the ground

Here are the officers on leave, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting:

▪ Detective Scott Bramhall shot Terault in the left thigh from 80 yards away with his department-issued handgun. Bramhall has been with the department 33 years and once served on the SWAT team.

▪ Officer Micah Wilson drove his police car onto a curb and pinned Terault beneath the vehicle. Wilson has worked in Puyallup for 15 years and is a patrol officer. He’s also served on the Metro SWAT team and is training officer.

▪ Officer Jonathan Waller was shot at in the 600 block of 13th Street Southwest during the chase. The nine-year veteran of the department works in the Problem Oriented Policing unit. Waller helped provide medical aid to Terault at the end of the pursuit.

▪ Officer Michael Kowalski, who has been with the department for 27 years, was shot at by the gunman on Sixth Avenue Southwest. He is a former SWAT team member who now works as a patrol officer.

Terault was being supervised by the state Department of Corrections after being released from prison in November 2012. He had been jailed after being convicted on three counts of assault and one count of drive-by shooting Sept. 2, 2012.

Under terms of his community supervision, he was banned from having guns, drugs or alcohol.

Police said one of the two weapons he used in Tuesday’s incident was stolen from Lakewood.

Terault was sent to jail twice this year for violating the terms of his supervision, according to the Corrections Department.

He was arrested May 7 after his corrections officer randomly visited his home and found him drinking a beer. Terault was released the next day.

He was arrested Aug. 4 for testing positive to methamphetamine during a routine drug test.

His corrections officer last saw Terault on Friday (Aug. 7) after he was released from jail.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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