Lights & Sirens

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Archives: Jan. 2011

Jan.
31st

Gig Harbor woman killed in crash

A 66-year-old Gig Harbor woman died Friday night after suffering a heart problem and crashing her vehicle in South Kitsap, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Judith Campbell was driving her 1989 Honda Accord west on Southwest Lakeway Boulevard when she failed to stop at the intersection with Sidney Road Southwest.

She traveled through the intersection and struck a large metal gate at the entrance to a dirt access road.

A deputy found her dead behind the wheel of her car about 11 p.m.

The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Sunday and determined the manner of death to be

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Jan.
31st

Two men fight over Samurai sword in Bonney Lake

Bonney Lake police said two men were seriously injured today after fighting over a Samurai sword.

Officers were called about 1:20 p.m. to a home in the 9600 block of 208th Avenue East and found a man sitting outside his house covered in blood.

The other man was still inside and initially refused to come outside, though both men were eventually taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said one of the men pulled out a sword after “a property dispute.”

After both men suffered serious cuts on their bodies, the homeowner went across the street and asked

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Jan.
31st

Gig Harbor man pleads guilty to killing infant daughter

A 39-year-old man pleaded guilty this afternoon to first-degree manslaughter in the death of his 3-week-old daughter.

Bonifacio V. Velarde, a Gig Harbor resident, faces a recommended term of 11 years, four months in prison when sentenced Feb. 28, Pierce County deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman said.

Velarde also pleaded guilty to three counts of witness tampering.

He originally was charged with second-degree murder in the May 21, 2009, death of his daughter, Ava.

Medical examiners said the girl died of “cranial cerebral trauma” most likely caused by having her head squeezed or hit with something blunt, according to court records.

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Jan.
31st

Apartment fire displaces three in Kent

Three people were displaced due to a fire in their apartment fire in Kent this morning.

One adult and two children, who were not injured,  are being cared for by family memebrs and the American Red Cross. Hot oil left unattended on a  stove started the fire, according to the Kent Fire Department.

Firefighters from the Kent Fire Department and South King Fire and Rescue were able to  limit damage to the one apartment in the building. Smoke damage was spread throughout the apartment.

One upstairs apartment unit had a light haze of smoke which dissipated over time.

An audible

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Jan.
31st

Tacoma officers identified in fatal shooting of man

Tacoma police have identified the two officers involved in a deadly shooting Friday evening as Shawn Malott and Matthew Verkoelen.

They have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such cases.

Malott, 33, has been with the department 2½ years while Verkoelen, 27, has been a Tacoma police officer 3½ years.

The officers shot 42-year-old Robert O’Connell after he pulled a handgun and started shooting at them when they tried to talk to him at a gas station.

The officer responded to a report of a suspicious person at the gas station near Puyallup Avenue and East M

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Jan.
31st

UPDATE: Gig Harbor house fire started by “smoking materials”

UPDATE: Deputy Fire Marshal Mark Carman said the fire was caused by “careless disposal of smoking materials in the garage.”

Damage was estimated at more than $300,000.

INITIAL POST: Gig Harbor firefighters are battling a house fire at 1915 61st Ave. N.W. that erupted about 1:10 p.m. and sent two children home alone scrambling outside.

The children, a girl in her late teens and a boy about 12, were not injured. Their mother came to the scene.

Fire spokeswoman Penny Hulse said flames were coming out of the eaves of the two-story house when firefighters arrived.

Hulse said most of

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Jan.
31st

Kent police laud help from neighbor in nabbing burglary suspect

Kent Police are crediting an alert East Kent resident with helping to identify a prolific home burglar targeting his neighborhood.

Last Wednesday, officers responded to a burglary on Kent East Hill and found a neighbor who had snapped a picture of an unoccupied car that he didn’t recognize which was parked outside another neighborhood home.

The man told police he heard a disturbance, noticed the car gone and his neighbor’s door standing open. Police checked that nearby house and  found it had also been broken into.

Officers  recognized the car in the photograph as connected  to a December burglary arrest.

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Jan.
31st

Gasoline prices in Tacoma drop 1.1 cents, up over last year

Average retail gasoline prices in Tacoma have fallen 1.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.22 per gallon Sunday.

This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.08 per gallon, according to gasoline price website TacomaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Tacoma during the past week, prices yesterday were 40.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 7.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The national average has increased 3.6 cents per gallon during the last month and

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