UPDATED at 2:09 p.m.
Tacoma police have arrested a state Department of Corrections correctional officer suspected in a domestic dispute that prompted a lockdown this morning at a West End elementary school.
Officers spotted the officer”s car near North 10 Street and Skyline Drive and surrounded him about 12:25 p.m. After talking with a negotiator, the man surrendered without further incident just before 1:10 p.m., Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
DOC corrections spokesman Chad Lewis confirmed the man is a correctional officer at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.
The officer worked the graveyard shift at the prison and left about 6 a.m., Lewis said. Sometime later in the morning, the officer’s brother called the prison staff.
The officer had been involved in a domestic dispute and either had or had access to a gun. The brother was concerned the officer might be headed toward the prison, Lewis said.
Staff members put the prison on lockdown and stationed armed officers at the entrance, Lewis said.
Meanwhile, someone at Skyline Elementary School, 2301 N. Mildred St., called police just before 9:15 a.m. after seeing a domestic dispute between a man and woman who were in the parking lot to drop off a child.
There was speculation a gun also might have been involved, Fulghum said. A gun was later found in the correctional officer’s car.
The woman reportedly ran inside the school for help. The school was locked down as a precautionary measure, Tacoma Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said. The lock down has since been lifted.
When officers arrived, the man was gone. The woman was interviewed by officers, then taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Initially, there was concern the man had a child in the car and Whittier Elementary School was briefly locked down because officers thought the man might be taking the child to the school. The child was dropped off with relatives in Gig Harbor, Fulghum and Voelpel said.
Officers suspect the man left the Gig Harbor area, then came back to Tacoma.
Lewis said the prison is no longer in lockdown. He said the officer had no known history of trouble with DOC.
Lewis said the officer will not be allowed back at the prison until his case is resolved.