A retired Puyallup police officer fatally shot an alleged burglar who broke into his South Hill home today armed with a crowbar.
The homeowner was asleep when a noise woke him about 4:20 p.m. and he discovered several people inside his house in the 14300 block of 134th Avenue East.
“They kicked the door in and got in the house,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. “They probably figured they were burglarizing an empty residence.”
The retired officer told deputies he opened fire because the burglar armed with a crowbar came at him. He called 911 to report the incident after the alleged burglars – three men and one woman – fled in a maroon Chevy pickup truck.
Puyallup police were notified about 4:40 p.m. that a man had checked into the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital with a gunshot wound.
Officers quickly responded, believing the gunshot victim was one of the burglary suspects.
The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead shortly after 5 p.m.
“Officers scoured the area around the hospital and located the truck in the parking garage of Good Sam,” Puyallup police Capt. Dave McDonald said.
A male suspect in the truck and a female suspect who also went to the hospital were arrested. A fourth suspect who police believe jumped out of the truck at Jackpot Gas Station, 12714 122nd St E, has not been located.
Troyer said authorities know who the fourth suspect is and are using a K-9 team to search for him.
Detectives are sifting through the pickup truck and have found computers and other electronics believed to have been taken during another burglary, Troyer said.