Lights & Sirens

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Archives: June 2011

June
30th

Prosecutor: Tacoma police officers justified in fatal shooting in January

Two Tacoma police officers that fatally shot a mentally ill man after he fired a handgun at them in January were justified in their actions, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced today.

Officers Sean Mallot and Matthew Verkoelen were on patrol Jan. 28 when they noticed a man who fit the description of a vehicle prowler they’d been searching for earlier in the night.

Police said the man was pacing, talking to himself and gesturing dramatically with his arms.

The officers stopped at a gas station at 1302 Puyallup Ave. and asked 42-year-old Robert David O’Connell for identification.

Instead, they

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June
30th

Crane tips over at construction site in Tacoma

Sound Transit officials are investigating what caused a crane to topple over today at the construction site near the 705 overpass in Tacoma.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. at the site on B Street between 25th and 26th streets.

“We are working with the contractor who owns the crane to determine what happened,” Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason said.

No one was injured.

Work is temporarily halted at the site while the investigation is completed. Crews there are laying the last segment of track for the Sounder commuter rail extension that will offer service from Tacoma to Lakewood in

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June
30th

14+ years for man convicted in deadly barbell attack near Roy

A man convicted of beating his landlord with a barbell then running over her with a van was sentenced this afternoon to 14 years, three months in prison.

Ivan Lee Pinto, 33, pleaded guilty before his sentencing to second-degree murder in the November 2010 death of Janice Gallaher, 60.

The two were driving around near Roy when they got into an argument and Pinto attacked Gallaher, court records show.

Deputy prosecutor Jerry Costello told Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner that Gallaher died a “horrible death” and that Pinto deserved the high end of the standard sentencing range: 18 years, four

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June
30th

Feds bring suit on behalf of University Place man who lost job while deployed

The U.S. Department of Justice is taking up the fight of a University Place man who claims he came home from war to find his job eliminated.

Justice Department attorneys today filed suit in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on behalf of Dave Axtell.

Axtell, an Air Force reservist, worked as driver supervisor at James J. Williams Bulk Service Transport before being called to active duty in 2005, the lawsuit states. He split time between the company’s Pacific and Kalama locations.

He was honorably discharged in 2009 after serving in Operation Enduring Freedom.

When Axtell tried to return to his

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June
30th

First year of Target Zero campaign results in 3,400 arrests; drop in fatal crashes

Washington State Patrol troopers as well as local law enforcement officers arrested about 3,400 suspected drunken drivers during the first half of a two-year, federally-funded campaign against intoxicated drivers.

The arrests were made by the members of three Target Zero teams, which operate in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

The first year of the Target Zero Teams also saw a reduction of fatal car crashes when compared to each of the previous five years. An average of 203 people died in crashes in each of the previous years in the three counties. In the year since Target Zero launched July

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June
30th

UPDATED: Mylar balloons suspected source of power outage in part of Tacoma’s West End this morning

UPDATE 2: Power has been restored, Tacoma Power spokeswoman Nora Doyle said. The zoo reports that it is up and running.

UPDATE: Electricity is out in about 450 homes as well as Point Defiance Zoo this morning after a couple of mylar balloons got caught between two power lines, Tacoma Power reports.

The power could be out for another couple of hours, utilities spokeswoman Nora Doyle said shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Utilities crews believe mylar balloons got trapped between two power lines. The metal in the balloons can melt the wire in the power lines, Doyle said.

The power went

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June
30th

UPDATED: Truck crashes into Parkland apartment complex; police later arrest driver

 

UPDATE: The suspected driver was later found lying in the backyard of a house in the 1600 block of 105th Street South. He had a broken foot, Lakewood police Lt. Dave Guttu said.

A woman at the home called 911 and reported finding the man. She said he appeared to be asleep.

The 31-year-old man was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injured foot. He’s since been booked into Pierce County Jail for felony eluding and driving with a suspended or revoked license.

ORIGINAL POST:

Lakewood police are searching for the driver of a

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June
29th

No charges filed in fatal shooting of popular Auburn youth sports coach

King County prosecutors said today they will not file criminal charges against an Auburn man who fatally shot a popular youth sports coach last month.

A two-page turndown says Olenthis Woods, 18, was defending himself and his family when he shot and killed 22-year-old Shennon Shelton outside Woods’ apartment May 1.

The victim’s brother, 23-year-old Gaston Shelton, was videotaping a brawl with his cell phone when Woods and two other men assaulted him. After he was jumped, Gaston Shelton summoned his brothers and cousins to the apartment complex to confront Woods.

As six men neared his front door in the

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