TACOMA, Wash. - A man was wounded after he was shot by a police officer Saturday afternoon in East Tacoma, authorities said.
The incident happened at about 3:15 p.m. near the intersection of East 28th Street and Portland Avenue East.
Police say the man was pan handling on the freeway ramp. A Tacoma Police officer approached the man. That’s when detectives say the panhandler became aggressive, “The panhandler came charging at the officer. The officer fired a taser, “ said Loretta Cool of the Tacoma Police Department. Then the man ran across the street. Then according to Officer Cool, “The panhandler stopped and came charging back at the officer. The panhandler had a metal pipe in his hand.”
Detectives say the panhandler hit the officer in the arm, she shot back.
Witnesses at the fireworks stands across the street herad the gunshots. “Just four straight consecutive shots, boom, boom, boom, boom, “ said Brent Satiacum.
Melissa Satiacum heard the shots and went to look, “There’s a police officer, gun still fully drawn and a guy on the ground.”
The suspect was in critical condition Saturday night, after he was taken to Tacoma General Hospital.
The officer was treated for an injured arm.
Investigators spent more than six hours collecting evidence along the off ramp. The northbound ramp of Interstate 5 was closed at the East Portland exit.
Witnesses hope the officer and the panhandler are okay. “Hopefully he come through and hopefully the officer who had to draw a weapon to save her own life is going to be alright also,” commented Brent Satiacum.