Soldier shoots handgun into air leaving I-5 as officer watches

This probably wasn’t what the sunroof was intended for.

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier riding in the passenger seat of a fellow soldier’s car was firing his handgun into the air repeatedly Sunday night as they were driving north on Interstate 5 through Tacoma, according to court documents.

The passenger forgot to look for law enforcement.

As a uniformed officer looked on, the 23-year-old fired at least three more shots from the passenger window as the car took the 56th Street exit westbound about 8:35 p.m., documents say.

Police stopped the 23-year-old and the 21-year-old driver nearby, documents say. As the driver exited his car, a shell casing fell to his feet.

“I just got in trouble for this,” the driver told police, saying he was arrested by military police in October.

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokesman confirmed the two men were in the Army, but would not give further comment.

The passenger faces one charge of drive-by shooting, and the driver is charged with driving while suspended and second-degree rendering criminal assistance. Both pleaded not guilty Monday in Pierce County Superior Court.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker