The suspect, armed with rifles and wearing a protective vest, fired numerous shots at Pierce County deputies before he was taken into custody.
PARKLAND — A man who was arrested Thursday night after holding people hostage at a Parkland used-car lot is not expected to appear in court until Monday, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The man, described as heavily armed, barricaded himself in the office at the car lot after an apparent botched robbery, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said. He was taken into custody after he was shot during a shootout with deputies.
Because he wasn’t booked into jail until about 3 a.m. Friday, the man’s first court appearance won’t occur until Monday, according to James Lynch, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. No other information on the case was released Friday.
The Sheriff’s Department said the man had tried in vain to rob the business on Pacific Avenue South. He then went into a nearby auto dealership, where there were four people inside that he held hostage.
When law enforcement moved in, three people were able to get out of the dealership, the Sheriff’s Department said. But the man held one person at gunpoint and dragged them into a back room and held the person hostage while firing multiple shots at deputies, Sheriff Paul Pastor said.
Pastor said the man was “not cooperative” when deputies and negotiators tried to persuade him to surrender, and he was shot by a deputy. The round apparently struck the man’s protective vest. Pastor said he was taken to the hospital to be checked and booked into the Pierce County Jail.
The final hostage was rescued about an hour after the 7:30 p.m. incident began, and a SWAT team and negotiators responded to the scene. Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said the suspect had several firearms, including rifles.
Troyer said the situation “could have been a lot worse for him, could have been worse for our deputies, he was definitely trying to hit them.”
Troyer said the scene is across the street from Saar’s Marketplace on Pacific Avenue South. Because of the threat from gunfire, customers and employees were told to shelter in place until they could be escorted to safety.
Tyler Hoffart, manager of Saar’s, said about 20 customers and employees stayed locked inside the store during the encounter, but did not hear or see the altercation.
The Sheriff’s Department initially posted on social media that the situation was extremely dangerous — “hot and active” — and that traffic was closed between 132nd and 138th streets and Pacific Avenue South.
Employees at nearby businesses said they saw a heavy police presence and the street blocked off.
“We’ve seen, god I don’t know, 20 cop cars drive up,” said Matthew Holland, a manager of a nearby bar, Lady Luck Cowgirl Up. “We didn’t hear any shots, but we have the football game up in the bar.”