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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 |
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.


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