Lights & Sirens

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Gunman who killed Tacoma teacher committed suicide, office rules

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on June 2, 2010 at 8:14 am |
June 2, 2010 8:14 am

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that the gunman who killed a Tacoma special education teacher in February committed suicide.

The Medical Examiner’s Office had been waiting for the results of forensic tests before ruling on Jed Waits’ manner of death. Waits, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, had been shot twice by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy about 20 minutes after he killed Jennifer Paulson, 30, as she walked to Birney Elementary School on Feb. 26.

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives had been looking into the possibility that Waits, 30, committed suicide as the sheriff’s deputy fired his weapon.

Waits had fled after killing Paulson. A short time later, deputy Eric Honeycutt spotted Waits’ vehicle, which had pulled into the parking lot of a day care center off 160th Street East in Pierce County.

Waits got out of the car and pulled a gun. The deputy and Waits fired their guns, the Sheriff’s Department previously reported.

The deputy was not injured. The Sheriff’s Department had launched an investigation into the deputy-involved shooting, which is standard procedure when an officer uses deadly force.

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