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Deputy involved in shooting with Tacoma homicide suspect identified

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
March 1, 2010 2:50 pm

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department has released the name of the deputy involved in a shooting Friday morning.

Deputy Eric Honeycutt, 37, shot Jed R. Waits about 20 minutes after Waits fatally shot Jennifer Paulson, a special education teacher, outside Birney Elementary School in Tacoma. Waits, who also fired one round, died at the scene of his confrontation with Honeycutt.

Honeycutt, who has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 11 years, was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. He’s expected to return to work Tuesday, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Court documents indicate Waits had been stalking Paulson for years. She had an anti-harassment order against him and he was arrested Feb. 19 for violating the order.

Witnesses told Tacoma police Waits had been outside Birney Elementary School, 1202 S. 76th St., for a couple of hours Friday morning. As Paulson walked to the school, he approached and, without saying a word, shot her several times. She died at the scene.

Waits fled in a vehicle. His description and his vehicle’s description was relayed to area law enforcement officers.

Honeycutt spotted Waits’ vehicle going south on Canyon Road East a short time later. He initiated a stop and the car took off at a high rate of speed.

Waits pulled into the parking lot of a daycare center off 160th Street East. He got out of the car and pulled out a gun.

Both men fired their weapons. Honeycutt was not injured.

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