Fatal police shooting of armed man in Puyallup deemed justified by Prosecutor’s Office

PUYALLUP, Wash. — Three law enforcement officers who fatally shot an armed man suspected of domestic violence as he struggled with police in Puyallup were justified in their actions, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

Quincy Bishop, a 30-year-old Carbonado man, was killed Nov. 1, 2020, outside his brother’s house in the 1700 block of Kilt Court.

Tacoma police investigated the shooting, and a review by prosecutors determined that Buckley officer Arthur Fetter, 29; Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Travis Calderwood, 28; and Puyallup officer Barclay Tuell, 30, held a reasonable fear that Bishop would harm them because he was wanted for an assault and was reaching for a handgun tucked into his waistband.

Prosecuting Attorney Mary Robnett sent a 13-page letter Tuesday to Sheriff Ed Troyer and police chiefs Scott Engle and Kurt Alfano explaining her decision.

A second sheriff’s deputy was present at the time of the shooting but did not fire his weapon.

The officer and deputies were “faced with a suspect who had committed a serious felony involving a threat to physically harm or kill his victim,” prosecutors wrote in their findings. “That same suspect then attempted to gain control of a handgun concealed on his person during a physical struggle with a law enforcement officer.”

It started about 9 a.m. that day when Bishop went to his ex-girlfriend’s home in Carbonado and demanded to see their two daughters.

Bishop and his ex argued, and he fought with the woman’s new boyfriend, who went outside to call 911. Bishop allegedly grabbed a torch attached to a propane tank and told his ex “he was going to light the house on fire with her and the children inside,” records say.

The woman managed to grab away the torch, but Bishop then held a 7-inch bread knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. When she tried to wrestle the knife away from Bishop, her hand was cut.

He allegedly stole his ex-girlfriend’s cell phone before leaving and making one last threat to kill her and the children.

Police came and took a report about the domestic-violence confrontation.

That night, Fetter came on duty and offered to bring Bishop in for questioning because he knows Bishop’s brother, who had recently expressed concern that Bishop might shoot at police if they encountered him.

Fetter called for backup and went to the home of Bishop’s brother, where Bishop was spotted walking outside.

Police told him they needed to speak with him about the earlier assault in Carbonado, but Bishop climbed into his truck and refused to cooperate. When he started the truck, investigators say, Fetter grabbed the keys and tried to pull Bishop out of the pickup.

During their struggle, Bishop put his hand on a semi-automatic pistol tucked into his waistband, but Fetter was able to keep him from pulling the gun out. As they tussled, Fetter warned the other officer and deputies that Bishop had a gun and held his own department-issued weapon to Bishop’s cheek.

Bishop continued to try and pull out the gun despite Fetter’s commands to stop, so Fetter fired a single shot, according to the investigation. Tuell and Calderwood, who were approaching the truck in an attempt to help Fetter, also fired shots at Bishop from the passenger side door and rear of the pickup truck.

Bishop was pronounced dead at the scene.