A 29-year-old Pierce County sheriff’s deputy died tonight, less than 24 hours after undergoing surgery for injuries he suffered during an on-duty assault.
Roughly 50 off-duty deputies responded to Shandon Wright’s South Hill home after hearing that paramedics had been called to check on the man’s condition about 7:30 p.m.
“They worked on him as hard as they could but he passed away,” said department spokesman Ed Troyer. “This is a duty-related death. Everybody’s shocked at what happened.”
The off-duty deputies escorted Wright’s body to the Medical Examiner’s Office and gathered in the back parking lot to console one another.
The deputy was home with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when he began having trouble breathing.
Wright suffered the injury Aug. 19 after responding to a call in Spanaway about a possibly armed man threatening somebody. Wright and his partner found the suspect sitting in a truck in the 1700 block of 5th Avenue East.
The man refused to get out of the truck or cooperate with deputies so, after a struggle, they pulled him from the vehicle, Troyer said. The man then grabbed the deputies’ legs and tried to knock them to the ground.
He was eventually overpowered and arrested. Deputies found a gram of marijuana in his pocket, a crow bar on the front seat and a large fixed blade knife on the floorboard.
Wright was in physical rehabilitation for his shoulder but recently blew it out, Troyer said. He underwent surgery Wednesday.
The Sheriff’s Department will conduct a death investigation, said Troyer, which could include charges against the person who assaulted Wright.
Sheriff Paul Pastor said Wright has been with the department for five years.