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Prosecutor deems fatal shooting by Tacoma police officer justified

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on June 3, 2013 at 9:39 am |
June 3, 2013 9:41 am

A Tacoma police officer who fatally shot a woman after she pointed a gun at him Dec. 22 acted justifiably, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced today.

Several investigations showed Sophia Strickland, 22, committed suicide-by-cop.

Strickland’s mother called 911 that night to report that Strickland had fired two shots inside their two-story home in the 3500 block of Fawcett Avenue.

Strickland was upstairs when several officers arrived. She came downstairs into the kitchen still holding a handgun. Strickland refused to drop the weapon and instead pointed the gun at Officer Sean Ovens.

Ovens, fearing for his life, fired five shots, striking Strickland once in the chest. She died at the scene.

Police said the shots she fired prior to their arrival may have been an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Bloods tests showed Strickland had a potentially lethal amount of methamphetamine in her system at the time of the incident.

“This is another example of why drugs and guns do not mix well,” Lindquist said.

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