FIFE, Wash. - A felon sought on a warrant and suspected in a string of break-ins was shot and killed by Pierce County sheriff’s deputies after they say he tried to run them down with a car.
A law enforcement source identified the suspect as 36-year-old Ryan L. Rosa. Investigators say Rosa was being sought for failing to show up for a criminal trial and in connection with a series of burglaries in several counties.
Detective Ed Troyer, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, said undercover special investigators were attempting to take Rosa into custody around noon Tuesday.
They boxed in his car with their SUV in the parking lot of a Motel 6 on East 20th Street in Fife and pepper-sprayed him after breaking the windows of the car he was driving. Troyer said at first it appeared Rosa was going to surrender.
Instead, Troyer said, Rosa drove toward the deputies, knocking one to the ground.
“Our other deputy gave him a warning, he pulled the car forward and before he could run over our deputy a second time, fired shots at him,” Troyer said.
Medics tried to revive Rosa but he was declared dead at the scene.
A witness who didn’t want to give his name told KIRO 7 he heard the shooting from a parking lot across the street.
“I heard, pow, pow, pow, and I said that sounded like gunfire,” the man said. “That’s messed up what they just did. They just killed that guy.”
KIRO 7 has learned Rosa had eight felony convictions and more than 30 arrests in the last 17 years.
He was scheduled for trial last year in Pierce County on unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, eluding police and drug charges, but failed to show up. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
The deputy hit by Rosa's car suffered minor bumps and bruises, but investigators say he could have been killed.
"We're lucky that he wasn’t hurt worse because the suspect tried to run him down a second time,” Troyer said.
A woman in the car with Rosa was unhurt. She was taken into custody.
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