TACOMA, Wash. - Officials with Joint Base Lewis-McChord confirmed Sunday that the man run over by a Tacoma police officer is a soldier at the base.
Infrared home surveillance video from Saturday morning shows 22-year-old Emanuel Andrade lying in a Tacoma street just after 1 a.m. before the patrol car drives over him.
His wife, Susana Andrade, told KIRO 7 that she doesn’t understand how it all happened.
“I couldn’t even sleep because that’s all I could see, him being dragged down the street,” she said.
She said her husband served in Afghanistan and was planning on being discharged on July 4. He’s a father to a 7-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy.
Andrade shared a photo showing him on a breathing tube in his hospital room at St. Joseph Medical Center. She said he has several broken bones and fractures and cannot open his eyes or talk. He has, she said, squeezed her hand at times and cried.
“You could actually see blood coming out of his eyes,” she said.
The video shows Andrade get into a car, then get out and lie down on the road. Tacoma police said the officer in the patrol car was driving slowly, checking for car prowlers, checking license plates, and looking down at his computer screen.
Spokesperson Loretta Cool said Andrade was also wearing dark clothing.
“I just understand that the officer just didn't see him,” she said.
But Andrade isn’t satisfied with that explanation.
“He just proceeded with running him over and dragging him down the street,” she said. “You can’t put an excuse to that.”
KIRO 7 asked what her husband was doing in the street in the first place.
“Right now, I can’t put it together, honestly,” she said. “I really want to know what happened that night and why things happened that way.”
Andrade told KIRO 7 that all she knows is that he went out with friends.
She’s frustrated and wishes she had answers for all the people she's seen commenting online.
“I want them to know he's a good person, he's a good father, he's a soldier,” she said. Andrade said it's unclear how many surgeries her husband will need.
Tacoma police are investigating but have not put the officer who was driving, a seven-year law enforcement veteran, on leave because they say this is an accident.
Cool said the incident has deeply affected him and they have given him a few days off before he returns to work.