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Man charged with shooting that ended in South Hill school bus crash

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:37 am |
February 8, 2013 2:44 pm

Pierce County prosecutors this morning charged a 32-year-old man with multiple felonies connected to a drive-by shooting that eventually resulted in a collision with a school bus in the South Hill area of Pierce County.

Sopheap Chith is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on charges of drive-by shooting, assault, possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, reckless driving, hit and run, and driving with a suspended license.

Prosecutors contend Chith fired two shots from inside a stolen Honda Civic on Tuesday while driving south on Meridian Avenue. A witness began to follow the Honda after the shooting, and Chith allegedly fired two shots at the witness, court records show.

Chith then allegedly fled at high speed, running a red light and colliding with a school bus filled with elementary school children. No one on the bus was hurt.

Another witness said he saw two men and woman strip the Honda of its wheels at an apartment complex some time later then leave the scene in another car. Sheriff’s deputies stopped that car and arrested Sothea Chum and Tiffany LaPlante, who said they’d dropped Chith off at another location. He eventually was found and arrested. Chum and LaPlante are charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. They, too, are to be arraigned this afternoon.

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