PUYALLUP, Wash. - Investigators identified Nathen Ryan Terault as the gunman who went on a rampage Tuesday afternoon in Puyallup — directing gunfire at a family, police, and several homes.
An 71-year-old man was shot and killed when he approached Terault, who was reportedly going through the man's car.
KIRO 7 has uncovered a long criminal history for Terault, beginning with arrests in 1997 up until 2004.
He has seven felony convictions, including drive-by shooting, assault and unlawful possession of firearms, as well as misdemeanor car prowling and possessing a weapon at a school.
FAST TIMELINE OF TUESDAY'S EVENTS:
- Gunman spotted, shooting at houses around 2:45 p.m.
- 71-year-old shot, killed
- Gunfire directed at family; no injuries
- Suspect stormed a home, stole an SUV, police say
- High-speed chase ensued
- Officers fired upon; no police injuries
- Collisions reported near Washington State Fairgrounds
- Gunman hit by police car; taken into custody
Over the course of eight minutes, police said Terault’s rampage was seen by several residents in the tight-knit community near 14th Street. Police said about 12 homes were hit by gunfire.
The 71-year-old who was killed was first reported to be in his 80s by police. The victim was identified Wednesday morning as Richard N. Johnson.
No connection can be made between the shooter and victim as of Tuesday evening.
Police said Terault, whose last known residence was in Tacoma, then walked down the street, firing shots.
He attempted to steal a car but was unsuccessful, investigators said.
Terault then directed gunfire at a family, police said. No one was injured.
After breaking into a woman’s home, police said he stole a white SUV and drove it through the garage door.
A high-speed pursuit began in the 500 block of 14th Street. Police said Terault continued to fire at officers during the chase. Another police vehicle was hit by gunfire, but no injuries were reported.
The suspect crashed into vehicles at the intersection of 9th and Fairview Drive, by the Washington State Fairgrounds. When he climbed out of the car, investigators said he continued to shoot at police.
Puyallup police said he was stopped when an officer in plain clothes fired at him and another officer rammed him with a police vehicle. He was also shot in the leg.
The shooter was taken to a hospital for treatment.
"It's simply a miracle, quite frankly, that we didn't have officers who were killed or more citizens who were killed in this incident," said Puyallup Police Capt. Scott Engle.
Wife says Terault recent lost his job
"He's an amazing man," Sarah Terault said about her husband.
Sarah Terault said her husband recently lost his job and had been on a drug-fueled binge for two weeks. She said he was desperate for money after the birth of his son Nate five weeks ago.
"He was trying to take care of his family," said Sarah Terault. "He got fired from his job. A lot of people have been saying really mean things to him and messing with his head. And he just couldn't take it anymore apparently."
Sarah Terault said she intends to stand by her husband and hopes he gets help.
"He's been under a lot of stress, a lot of pressure and I think it finally got to him."