UPDATE as of 1:37 p.m. A bench warrant has been issued for Howard’s arrest.
INITIAL POST: Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old Tacoma man with trying to kill his estranged wife in front of eight children.
Joshua Emanuel Howard is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and second-degree attempted murder, with enhancements for domestic violence, using a firearm and being within sight or sound of children. He has not yet been arraigned.
The shooting occurred July 6 at the couple’s home in the 6700 block of South J Street. Howard’s wife told police they married in 2008 but had recently separated. They have four children together; she has another four of her own.
According to charging papers:
Howard spent the night to visit with the children but became angry with his wife the morning of July 6. When she realized he wasn’t calming down, she prepared to leave the house and called the children to come with her.
She heard a clicking noise as she walked down the stairs, turned around and saw Howard holding a revolver.
“He said that he could not do this anymore, he loved her and ‘I gotta kill you,’” documents state.
As she fled, he fired a single bullet that was later found lodged in the bottom of the stairs.
The children, who had gathered on the front porch, screamed and ran to neighbor’s houses or hid behind garbage cans.
Howard’s wife ran across the front yard and tried to scale a fence but she fell and her husband pointed the gun in her face. She was eventually able to wrestle it away from him after he pulled the trigger and it malfunctioned.
A neighbor later told police that he gave Howard a ride from the house and was unaware of what had happened.
Howard is not allowed to own a gun because he has five prior convictions – three for domestic violence crimes, two for unlawful possession of a firearm and one for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver marijuana.