Lights & Sirens

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Tacoma officers identified in fatal shooting of man

Post by Mike Archbold on Jan. 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
January 31, 2011 2:17 pm

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 Street about 7 p.m.

When they asked the man to take his hands out of his pockets, he pulled a gun and fired three rounds, police said.

The officers were not hit. One of the rounds fired by O’Connell hit a patrol car, police said.

Shootout, Tacoma
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