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UPDATED: Lakewood police shoot, critically wound armed hostage-taker at credit union

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Aug. 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm with 20 Comments »
August 25, 2012 10:20 pm

Two police officers shot and seriously wounded a Tacoma man after he held a dozen people hostage inside a Lakewood credit union Saturday, then tried to flee while holding his estranged wife at gunpoint.

The suspect — a 48-year-old Tacoma man whom police did not name — was taken to Tacoma General Hospital in critical condition following the shooting, Lakewood Police Lt. Jeff Alwine said.

Alwine did not readily know the man’s condition late Saturday.  No one else was harmed in the incident, he said.

The shooting happened about 12:40 p.m. at the Washington State Employees Credit Union,  9540 Bridgeport Way Southwest.

About 45 minutes earlier,  the man showed up at the business to meet his wife and pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, Alwine said.  The couple, who had been married for 15 years with a history of domestic violence, had recently separated, Alwine said.

“Initial indications are that they met at the credit union to resolve financial matters and the suspect attacked the victim once inside,” he said.

About 11:54 a.m., a passerby flagged down a Lakewood officer driving past the scene, just as police dispatchers started receiving 911 calls about a man with a gun, Alwine said.

Police quickly surrounded the credit union and a crisis negotiator unsuccessfully tried to contact the suspect, Alwine said.  The man eventually forced his wife at gunpoint toward the credit union’s entrance.  When he passed into a glass-enclosed foyer, two officers fired one round each, Alwine said.

“When he came out to that open glass area and had the female hostage and the gun, the officers felt that the female was in imminent danger,” Alwine said. “They had the opportunity to stop the threat.”

Both officers involved in the shooting are department veterans with more than 10 years of service, Alwine said.  As is standard department procedure, each officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, he said.

Here’s the Lakewood Police Department’s official press release on the incident.


Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. Regfool2 says:

    Thank you, officers. For being there for all of us when things go horribly wrong, and risking your lives to do so.

  2. aalivestrong says:

    I like and agree with what you said Regfool2

  3. hor_i88on says:

    Agreed, Thanks to all Police Officers!!

  4. Thanks Officers.

  5. Great job officers, Thanks for the job you do every day. Lets hope you killed this guy.

  6. normajean says:

    Was there with my husband. Glad to see so many officers present. Kudos to the Lakewood Police force!

  7. MrCarleone says:

    Thank You to the Lakewood PD !

    Alittle window deflection, but all-in-all a great shot !

  8. Thanks go out to the PO’s responding to and taking proper action. Glad they are safe

  9. veritatem says:

    You guys in the Lakewood Police Department should invite out the New York Police for some shooting lessons.

  10. tamarkerr says:

    good job Lakewood Police Department!! Thank you for protecting us.

  11. Turned put ok but I’m wondering whey the guy is still alive? When it comes to the point of needing to use your firearm, I thought you were supposed to shoot to kill?

  12. lovethemountains says:

    Training in the use of lethal force is focused on eliminating the threat with shot(s) directed at center mass. There is no deliberate intent to kill even though that is often the result.

  13. thoughtful1 says:

    MCM: You have some things to learn. I have been told by a Lakewood police detective–when he was asked by another citizen (who happens to be a jerk)–why they shoot to kill. The calm and composed answer was: “We don’t shoot to kill. We shoot to neutralize the threat, and there are only about 3 seconds in which to make that decision.” People who don’t want to die, or at least be critically injured, should think about that when they commit crimes.

  14. I’m glad they didn’t kill him. Not for the perpetrator’s sake but for the policemen’s. No matter how justified it would be a horrible feeling for them. Also for the staff at the bank.

  15. interWOLFone says:

    @ vertitatem…there is a marked difference between this situation and the one in NYC. The perp in NYC was out in the open, the officers didn’t really know what he looked like except for a vague description by a witness, and the perp started shooting at them. There were people all around the perp and the officers at that point. In THIS situation at the credit union, although the perp had his estranged wife as a hostage/shield…he was inside of the building, and the officers were safely outside and behind cover. This was a good shooting, but the officers were fortunate that the woman was not also hit, or anyone else in the bank. It could very easily have gone down differently. Any officer who has ever been involved in a situation like this will tell you that with adrenalin kicking in, it is very easy to miss the mark. Thankfully this perp was neutralized without anyone else being physically harmed. He is in critical condition, and hopefully he won’t survive. Taxpayers are already over burdened without the cost of a trial.

  16. Trueblue22 says:

    Good job LPD! I sure do appreciate you guys! Especially, when I normally am in that credit union during that time of day. Keep up the great work!

  17. ginahopk says:

    they should have killed him. Now when he gets free again he will go after his estranged wife and he WILL kill her. He could also go after the officers who shot him and kill them.

  18. Rational says:

    Good work Lakewood police. If this had been New York, they’d’ve gunned down 5-10 civilians too….

  19. Regfool2 says:

    ginahopk-and if they had, someone would be on here whining about the vicious police who killed the poor misunderstood gunman who never had a chance because he was a victim too, and he had a rotten childhood and everyone at school bullied him and his mother worked and his dog bit him….and the police are just adrenalin crazed power-mad junkies.

    Everyone seems to forget that officers are first and foremost, people. To kill, even in the line of duty, is something that stays with the officer for the rest of his/her life. I wouldn’t wish that burden on anyone.

  20. pcruised says:

    I WAS THERE… on foot with my pet Cockatoo making a deposit 10 minutes before the incident and I saw the Lakewood Police swarming near there on my way walking home. Glad I missed it, I might have done something stupid. There was one lady in her forties waiting in the lobby and pacing back and forth, I wonder if that was the intended victim??

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