Local

‘We’re all kind of shook’: Witnesses describe deadly deputy-involved Lakewood shooting

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — The Pierce County Force Investigation Team is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that left a man dead in Lakewood Wednesday.

INVESTIGATION:

A spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said deputies spotted a stolen car in Parkland and followed it on Thursday.

The suspect drove away and led deputies to Lakewood.

Deputies later used a terminator stick to deflate the suspect vehicle’s tires, they said.

They later found the stolen gray Honda Accord in the parking lot behind Shorty’s Barbershop on 40th Avenue Southwest, near 100th Street Southwest.

A spokesperson said two deputies found two suspects and one was armed with a gun.

Deputies reported the gun, a spokesperson said, and shots were fired.

A man died at the scene, next to Nana’s Learning Center & Preschool.

KIRO 7 asked authorities for further details.

As of Wednesday evening, authorities said they can’t provide details as the investigation is ongoing.

WITNESSES:

KIRO 7 spoke with witnesses – a barber and a customer -- who said they had encountered the suspects inside the barbershop.

“It was crazy man,” said Patrick Dugan, a customer. “You’re having a typical day. Getting your haircut. Smiling at your barbershop. Looking at the gentleman, and then two minutes later, that guy is dead.”

Dugan said he was getting his haircut when he saw the suspects, a woman and a man, park the stolen car in the parking lot.

“These two people came in,” he said. “They parked, but they started walking this way, and then they came in. And I didn’t think anything of it. And then the lady who was cutting my hair said, ‘Oh there’s some police in the parking lot.’ The dude (suspect) hopped up. The girl hopped up. They started walking out the front door. Officer came in. Bam. They started running on feet.”

Shane Hampton, a barber at Shorty’s Barbershop, said, “I saw them pull in the parking lot exceptionally at a high speed so that caught my attention.”

When the suspects entered the business, Hampton said the man asked him for a haircut.

“Then he (suspect) started paying attention to my other coworker over there cutting hair,” he said. “She said the ‘police just pulled up out there.’ The next thing we know, he (suspect) jetted out the front door and everything escalated from there.”

KIRO 7 also spoke with a worker nearby, who said he had witnessed the shooting.

“The boss came running through the shop,” said Gavin Pauley. “He said the police were chasing a suspect down the street and he had just run into the alley. We ran out the back door to see what was going on. What we saw was a police vehicle. They had a suspect down in front of the vehicle on the ground. One of the officers looked like he had hands on him. The other officer was standing above. What I heard from their suspect was, he said, ‘Give me my phone. I’m going to shoot myself.’ And I heard two shots and at that point, I ducked to get out of the fire, and when I peaked back around the corner, he (suspect) had been shot, and an officer threw his hands up in the air, and they went to work trying to give him CPR.”

KIRO 7 also spoke with a mother who recently picked up her child from the nearby daycare center.

“It’s just really scary that close,” she said. “It was literally on the other side of the wall.”

The mother said the daycare owner followed protocols to protect the children inside the building after shots were fired.

“The fact they followed protocol and then he (owner) got all the kids got under the table, and they made it like a game, and they wanted to play,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be difficult to come back and drop him (child) off because thoughts are going to be running through my head all day.”

WITNESSES ON AUTHORITIES’ RESPONSE:

Hampton said authorities had accused him of being a suspect.

“There were some officers came to our establishment trying to get a description of the suspect, and I was trying to give it to them,” he said. “And then the next thing I know, officers from down where they had shot the man at came up, and told them to grab me.”

Hampton said he did not know which agency, department, or office the officers belong to.

A customer inside the barbershop said he witnessed the alleged incident.

“The cop came this way, and started saying, ‘hey he’s one of them. Grab him,’” said Patrick Dugan, a customer. “He’s an employee that works in here. Then all of a sudden, the guy with a shotgun and another guy with a bigger gun start grabbing this gentleman that was actually helping them describe what had happened. So all of a sudden the script is flipped just like that. And we were all like, ‘No, no he works here.’”

KIRO 7 spoke with another barber inside the shop who said he also witnessed the alleged incident but declined to go on camera.

The barbershop’s manager also declined to talk on camera, but she told us she did not see what happened.

We asked the manager for security footage, but she said the operator of the security footage denied our request.

KIRO 7 asked authorities about the accusations.

Authorities said they cannot provide any details on the alleged incident as the investigation is ongoing.