by: Alison Grande Updated:
A Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy was shot in the arm about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, and the suspect was in a standoff with police at a storage facility shortly after.
Deputies said about 5:50 p.m. that the suspect was dead from a gunshot. It was not immediately clear if the man killed himself or was shot by a deputy.
Tuesday night friends identified that man as 27-year-old Chase Houston. Family and friends say Houston posted disturbing thoughts on Facebook. They called 911. Deputies went to his garage at Garage Plus in Spanaway to try to talk to Houston. Investigators say Houston refused to come out.
When the SWAT team arrived, “At some point he rolled up the storage shed with some assault type weapon and fired multiple rounds at our swat team members striking one of them,” said Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer.
The standoff was in the 21600 block of Mountain Highway, at Garage Plus Storage in Spanaway. The officer was grazed and taken to a hospital for treatment. He was released before 6 p.m., according to police.
Deputies went to the storage unit about 45 minutes before the deputy shooting after they were told the suspect was making threats to kill people. Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the man was armed with automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
The suspect is believed to be high on drugs and suffering from mental illness, deputies told KIRO 7.
Rick Calhoun lives across the street and attends car shows at Garage Plus. He went over to see his friends, “they’re all pretty sad and the young fellow involved in the incident was a musician.”
Chase Houston had turned his garage unit into a recording studio. He posted videos on Facebook, one shows him rapping about the Seahawks.
Tuesday night it was still unclear if he was killed by the swat team, or shot himself.
It will be up to the medical examiner to find out.
Houston doesn’t have a criminal record. A background check turned up a fishing violation and a citation for underage drinking.
Friends said he appeared to be suffering from mental illness recently.