Suspect in custody after standoff with armed man near Tacoma middle school

VIDEO: SWAT standoff in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — An armed standoff shut down a south Tacoma neighborhood, sending three schools into lockdown after a suspected car thief ran from a Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy, then exchanged gunfire with him.

It began around 11:00 a.m. when the deputy spotted the SUV and attempted a traffic stop.

Instead, said a sheriff’s spokesman, the man sped away, then jumped out of the vehicle pulling a handgun.

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“Our deputy drew on him, ordered him to drop the gun, shots were fired,” said department spokesman detective Ed Troyer.

A man living in the neighborhood who only gave his first name, Alex, said he heard the gunfire from his home.

“I heard when I was in the house, I think they said three or four shots,” he said.

The neighborhood near 80th and south J streets was shut down as armed SWAT team members moved in.

Rick Richards watched as the standoff unfolded just down the street from his house.

Two nearby elementary schools and a middle school were placed on lockdown during the standoff.

“SWAT guys coming everywhere. I’ve never seen so many cop cars just coming everywhere,” said Richards. “I first thought that something happened at the school.”

After a little more than an hour, the suspect finally surrendered and was taken away in handcuffs.

Two other people who were inside the outbuilding when the suspect ran in were also taken into custody on unrelated charges.

Throughout the exchange of gunfire and the standoff, no one was hurt.

“That’s the best possible outcome,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor. “I’m glad no one was hurt, I’m glad our people are safe.”

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