South Sound News

Spanaway armed robbery suspect died from self-inflicted gunshot wound

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies shot at a man who held up a Spanaway Walmart at gunpoint.

SPANAWAY, Wash. — Detective Gary Sanders with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said shortly before 2 a.m. Monday, police were called to the 24-hour Walmart store on Mountain Highway East for a report of an armed robbery where a man robbed employees of cash at gunpoint and was still inside the store.

When a deputy arrived in front of the store and began to look for the suspect, the suspect ran at him and put his hand into his pocket, according to Sanders. A serious of gunshots were fired by the deputy and the suspect ran west.

"He had a handgun -- he brought it out -- that's when we were engaged with him the first time," said Sanders.

A second deputy arrived, and another round of shots were fired at the suspect as he continued to run to the other side of the building.

The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Graham man Bradley Michael Barboza, was found dead in a wooded area a short time later. Sanders said he had a handgun in his hand and cash in his pockets.

According to the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office, Barboza died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Court records show Barboza was convicted of burglary in 2015.

No deputies or store employees were hurt.

Sanders said it is not yet known if Barboza fired shots at deputies.

The two deputies involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave.

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