Crime

Prosecutors: Tacoma man accidentally shoots self while pulling gun on cops

A Tacoma man who accidentally shot himself in the leg while allegedly pulling a gun on police has been charged with five crimes, including attempted second-degree assault.

His friend, also of Tacoma, has been charged with four other crimes for allegedly robbing and shooting a man outside a Fife casino in a related incident.

Both men are in the Pierce County Jail awaiting trial.

The action began Sunday near BJ’s Casino on Pacific Highway East in Fife.

Police were dispatched to the area after witnesses called 911 to report a man had been shot, court records show.

Officers found a man with a gunshot wound to the buttocks. He told them two men who’d offered to help him get his car started after the battery went dead then robbed him and began shooting at him, the records show.

He was hit once and taken to the hospital.

Officers later found a man matching the description of one of the bandits at a nearby apartment complex. The 23-year-old was carrying a handgun and admitted he’d shot the victim during an attempted robbery, court records show.

He also told police his friend was with him during the robbery.

As police were speaking with the man, his alleged accomplice, who is 22, tried to flee from the apartment complex in a car, nearly hitting a Milton police squad car before running into a post, the records show.

He then exited the car and ran off.

A short time later, a gunshot rang out. Officers later found the second man on the patio of a nearby apartment with a gun at his feet. He declined to do what officers asked him, and one of them used a stun gun “to assist in detaining him,” the records show.

It later was determined he had a gunshot wound to the leg. He first told police he was shot by someone trying to rob him but later admitted he shot himself while trying to pull the loaded gun out of his shorts pocket, court records show.

Officers noted he appeared drunk.

“Further, (the defendant) states in a conversation in the jail that he accidentally shot himself as he tried to pull his firearm to shoot the police officers who were chasing him,” deputy prosecutor Patrick Cooper wrote in a declaration for determination of probable cause.

“He states he was ‘about to shoot them because they were going to shoot me.’ 

The 23-year-old man has been charged in Superior Court with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and drug possession.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf in Pierce County Superior Court on Wednesday. His bail: $200,000.

In addition to the second-degree assault count, the 22-year-old man is charged with attempting to elude police, hit-and-run, obstructing a police officer and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

A not guilty plea also was entered on his behalf. His bail: $100,000.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam

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