Suspected car-thief shot by officer in hip after reports of a stolen car early Sunday

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A Tacoma police officer shot a suspected car thief in the hip Sunday during an altercation in which the suspect briefly commandeered a patrol car and crashed it, according to Tacoma police.

The Tacoma Police Department initially received a call a little before 2 p.m. that a stolen vehicle was being driven in the area of Tacoma Mall Boulevard and South 47th Street. An officer spotted the vehicle, and two other officers responded to confront the man.

“The suspect was not compliant with officer commands,” said Loretta Cool, a spokeswoman for the police department. Tacoma police said later Sunday that during the struggle with officers, the suspect managed to enter the driver’s seat of a police vehicle. One officer was still holding onto the suspect when the man stepped on the gas, accelerating and striking a car and a house, police said.

During the struggle, an officer shot at the suspect and struck him in the hip. “One officer fired one round,” Cool said. The officers arrested the man.

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The suspect, 26, was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. Two officers sustained minor injuries.

The officer who fired at the suspect is 61 years old and a 25-year veteran of the Tacoma Police Department. He is on paid administrative leave as police investigate the incident, which is standard procedure in such cases.