Updates on the Lakewood police shooting and manhunt.
UPDATE 5:09 PM
Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said a hoax was behind officers’ search of vehicles at a storage facility near the shooting scene today. The Pierce County bomb squad also had been dispatched to Evergreen Self Storage.
A man in Tacoma had called his girlfriend and some other people and falsely claimed responsibility for the shooting, Troyer said. The man has since been arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police investigation.
UPDATE 4:54 PM
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One of the four officers shot and killed early Sunday struggled with the gunman and fired some shots, said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.
Troyer said the investigation into the shootings indicate that the gunman “flat-out executed” two of the officers after he walked into Forza Coffee around 8:15 a.m. One officer then stood up and tried to go for the gunman and was shot, Troyer said.
After that, the fourth officer was involved in some kind of struggle with the gunman and apparently managed to fire shots, Troyer said.
“What happened in there wasn’t just a shooting. One of the officers managed to fight his way with the suspect, wrestled him out the door when he was shot and killed,” Troyer said.
UPDATE 3:58 PM
A KING-TV news crew hovering in a helicopter above the scene has been interfering with the investigation, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer. But KING says the station has done nothing wrong.
Troyer said the helicopter was following sheriff’s deputies as they carried out various tactical operations and had hindered the investigation at least three times. He said KING had not respected requests to back off and that the department is considering pursuing charges.
But Mark Ginther, KING’s executive news director, said the helicopter backed off when asked. He said the station has followed Federal Aviation Administration rules for the airspace over the scene.
“It’s important to recognize that it’s a very stressful situation down there,” Ginther said. He said the station has been happy to comply with a number of requests by Troyer to help the investigation by posting suspect information, tipline numbers and the like.
Ginther said the station has led television coverage of the event all day, but he puts that down to good journalism rather than being too aggressive.
UPDATE 3:33 PM
Pierce County’s bomb squad rolled up around 3:30 p.m. to the Evergreen Self Storage facility near the scene of this morning’s shooting. It’s unclear what they are looking for. Police have been searching the parking lot of the facility.
UPDATE 3:23 PM
The Lakewood Police department plans to escort the bodies of their four slain officers to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office in an extensive motorcade within two hours.
Officers from other jurisdictions will cover the duties of Lakewood officers taking part in the motorcade, said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.
Crime scene investigators continue to analyze the crime scene, and will work into the evening to reconstruct the shooting, Troyer said.
Detectives think the shooter may be on foot and still in the Parkland neighborhood where the shooting took place, Troyer said.
UPDATE 2:45 PM
Police have closed off a long stretch of 112th Street South near the coffee shop where the shooting occurred. The stretch of road is also next to the Evergreen Self Storage facility. Police have been searching the parking lot of the storage facility. Law-enforcement helicopters also have been circling overhead.