Police release names of officers involved in fatal detention center shooting

Police release names of officers involved in fatal detention center shooting

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Police Department said after reviewing surveillance video of the shooting Saturday at the Northwest Detention Center center, 69-year-old Willem Van Spronsen can be seen manipulating what appears to be an AR-15 style rifle.

When the officers, identified only as Sgt. C. Martin, Officer J. Correa, Officer E. Allman and Officer W. Gustason found Van Spronsen, they said he confronted them and pointed a rifle at them, officials said.

Officials said the officers told Van Spronsen to "drop the weapon," but he failed to comply and that's when they fired their weapons at him. He was struck with two rounds and died at the scene.

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Van Spronsen's rifle was recovered from the scene and it appeared to have sustained some type of malfunction during the incident, police said.

Police said the video shows Van Spronsen's starting a fire at the detention center, as well as placing flares in "strategic" locations, even underneath a 500-gallon propane tank. He was also seen starting a fire to his vehicle causing a large explosion.

"He is observed throwing what is believed to be Molotov cocktails at surrounding buildings," officials said.

Officials said video shows Van Spronsen doing those things until police arrived at the scene.

Officials said a subsequent investigation shows Van Spronsen claimed association with Antifa and was a known anarchist, as well as a member of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, a self-proclaimed anti-fascist organization.

He was also involved in a custodial dispute with his ex-wife, officials said.

Police said they are still looking over the manifesto he sent to friends Friday and was not made aware of the letter before investigating the shooting.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing and at its conclusion, an internal review will take place, to include a deadly force review board that comprises of citizens and police personnel.