Former Marine fatally shoots suspected car thief

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. - Relatives describe 29-year-old Jessica Dawn Richardson as a longtime meth addict who was already awaiting trial on a burglary charge. Now she is back in the King Countyjail, accused of being an accomplice in a car theft that turned deadly. 

"Bad guys doing bad things," said King County Sheriff Deputy Charlie Akers. "And unfortunately sometimes bad things do happen to them."

King County deputies said Richardson and a 27-year-old man were trying to steal a white pickup when the owner spotted him behind the wheel. It was just after midnight early Tuesday morning. He yelled and the suspect pulled a handgun.

"And the guy just jumped out of the car ready to shoot," Kristen Hague told reporters.

Hague said she had just come out to see what was going on. The owner of the truck is her nephew, Keanan Thompson. When the thief pulled out a gun, Thompson, a former Marine, pulled out a handgun, too.

"He pushed me out of the way and yelled 'Gun,'" said Hague.

Both men opened fire. Bullet holes are visible in the getaway car, which was also stolen. The suspect was mortally wounded.

Richardson was caught in the crossfire but not hurt. When she arrived at the King County Jail, she called her mother. Susan Richardson said her daughter didn't tell her much except to say, "My friend died in my arms."

Hague insisted her nephew had no choice but to shoot.

"I think he was defending me," Hague said. "I totally see that."

She said she performed CPR on the suspect before he succumbed to his wounds.

Thompson was briefly detained, then released. The King County prosecutor will decide if he fired in self-defense.

We may learn the identity of the suspect from the King County medical examiner Wednesday.

Richardson will likely make a first court appearance Wednesday, too.