22-year-old man arrested for Spanaway drive-thru murder

SPANAWAY, Wash. — A 68-year-old Spanaway man is dead after a driver allegedly ran him over twice as both waited in a drive-thru line in Pierce County.

Eyewitnesses said Saturday night’s deadly confrontation happened after the driver rear-ended the vehicle the victim was in.

The victim had gotten out of the car when this happened, presumably to inspect the vehicle or talk to the driver.

But that decision ended up costing him his life.

It was stunning news to those waiting in this drive-thru outside the Jack In The Box on Mountain Highway East on this rain-soaked Sunday.

“I want to say unfortunately no but yes, at the same time it does (surprise me),” said Janet Pierce, of Roy. “It makes me sad.”

“I think that it’s a reflection of a culture that’s kind of gotten away from some basic ideas like that there is a God, and you’ve got to have a relationship with him,” said Frank Aurich, of Kenmore.

“The hardest thing to think about with this case is that the person ran him over and chose to back over him again,” said Sgt. Darren Moss Jr., of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. “That’s the worst part of this whole thing.”

This was no accident but first-degree murder, Sgt. Moss said. He said he was asked if the victim could have done anything differently that might have spared his life.

“In a drive-thru on a fender bender there should be no concern that I don’t want to walk in front of the vehicle because it’s going to hit me,” Moss said.

Many here see this as a tragic sign of the times.

“People are going bonkers these days,” said Tom Smith, of Roy. “I mean, why would you run the poor guy over?”

A family friend identified the victim as a longtime Spanaway resident. The deceased was also a grandfather and a motorcycle enthusiast, who was married to his high school sweetheart.

She said the couple had been talking about moving back to Oklahoma where they first met, because of the recent spike in crime in Pierce County and beyond.

Around 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, detectives arrested a 22-year-old suspect. He was booked in the Pierce County Jail for murder in the first-degree.

Detectives located the suspect’s car around 3:40 p.m. on Tuesday.