UPDATE: The Pierce County Medical Examiner says the man shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy this morning was Wayne Craddock, 50, of Yelm.
UPDATE: Spokesman Ed Troyer said the incident began when a veteran deputy pulled over an older model small pickup for a minor traffic violation of some kind.
The deputy took the driver’s license and registration and went back to his car to run the information through dispatch, Troyer said. As he was doing so, the driver exited the pickup with a handgun, began raising it and said, “This ends here,” Troyer said.
The deputy fired a number of times and took cover behind his patrol car. It’s unknown at this time whether the driver actually fired, Troyer said. Investigators recovered a large, semiautomatic handgun at the scene, he said.
“I hate to use the term ‘suicide-by-cop,’ because it’s just one itchy trigger finger away from a dead deputy,” Troyer said. “But we’re investigating whether this man had mental issues or something else going on in his life that would make him want to do this.”
The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted. That’s routine where a law enforcement officer fires his weapon on duty.
The names of the two men involved in the incident were not immediately released.
PREVIOUS POSTS: A 50-year-old Yelm man was shot and killed during a confrontation with at least one Pierce County sheriff’s deputy this morning.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the shooting occurred before dawn in the 6900 block of state Route 702. The man died at the scene, Troyer said.
The shooting took place just before 1 a.m. near the intersection of 702 and 64th Avenue South. KIRO-TV reported this morning a deputy pulled the man over to investigate a traffic violation of some type. The man allegedly got out the car with a gun and told the deputy, “This ends right here,” and began to raise his gun when the deputy opened fire, the station reported.
Route 702 remains closed at the scene as of 6:30 a.m. while authorities investigate the shooting. A detour is in place.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
UPDATE as of 6:36 a.m.: Westbound 702 just opened to traffic. Eastbound still closed.
UPDATE as of 6:38 a.m.: All lanes of 702 now open.