The man attacked the Thurston County sheriff’s deputy before taking off in the vehicle, the department says.
A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man near Tumwater after he attacked the deputy and tried to steal his patrol car, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputy pulled over to question the man around 4 p.m. near 93rd Avenue Southwest and Tilley Road Southwest after the man ran into a wooded area when he spotted the patrol car, said sheriff’s Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.
“[The deputy] thought that was pretty suspicious,” he said. “He thought that he [the man] was trying to hide from him.”
The deputy then reportedly asked the man, who is believed to be in his mid- to late 20s, to identify himself and explain what he was doing, Ziesemer said.
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While being questioned, the man attacked the deputy “with his hands” and punched him, Ziesemer said. The deputy suffered minor face injuries and bruises, he said.
The man was not armed, Ziesemer said.
After the scuffle, the man got into the deputy’s patrol car, which was still running with the keys in the ignition, and drove a few feet before T-boning another moving vehicle, the lieutenant said.
Authorities believe the man was using the car as a weapon.
The deputy was on the driver’s side running board when he shot the man in the chest, Ziesemer said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The deputy did not require hospitalization.
The coroner will identify the man and determine cause of death.
The deputy, described as in his 40s, has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years, the lieutenant said.
The officer will be placed on paid administrative leave, standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident, Ziesemer said.