A Tacoma police officer shot and killed a cougar this morning after he struck the animal with his patrol car in the Eatonville area on his way to work, a spokesman said.
The cougar darted into the road at East 352nd Street and Meridian Avenue East, said Tacoma Police Officer Donald Stodola.
After his vehicle going northbound on Meridian – Highway 161 – struck and ran over the cougar around 4:30 a.m., Officer Joe Mettler stopped and reported the incident to his supervisor, Stodola said.
The female cougar moved toward Mettler, who thought the animal was dead. Mettler then shot and killed the cougar because of the threat the animal posed and to end the injured animal’s suffering, Stodola said.
Mettler’s vehicle sustained minor damage and he wasn’t injured, Stodola said. Mettler continued on into Tacoma to work his patrol shift today.
The Washington State Patrol will issue an incident report and Tacoma police will review the report of an unscheduled discharge of a weapon. Stodola said Mettler’s firing of his weapon appears to be justified.