PUYALLUP, Wash. (AP) - It was a miracle more people weren’t slain after a gunman who killed a man while trying to rob his car led police on a high-speed chase, firing at officers and into homes, police said Wednesday.
The suspect, a 34-year-old man, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in Puyallup. The man fatally shot a 71-year-old man who found him in his truck and confronted him, authorities said. No officers or other people were hurt.
After killing the man, the suspect allegedly fired shots while walking down a street before stealing another vehicle and shooting at responding officers who gave chase.
More than a dozen homes were hit by gunfire. The suspect crashed the vehicle during the pursuit, got out and fired at officers, authorities said. One officer returned fire, striking the man once, and another officer rammed the suspect with his vehicle.
The suspect was taken to a local hospital and was under police guard Wednesday.
“It’s simply a miracle, quite frankly, that we didn’t have officers who were killed or more citizens who were killed in this incident. There were a lot of rounds fired. A lot of rounds ended up in houses in a well-populated area,” Puyallup Capt. Scott Engle said.
The 71-year-old man killed has been identified as Richard N. Johnson. Engle said there’s no clear motive for the suspect’s actions, and that he and Johnson didn’t know each other.
“This appears to be, quite simply, a random act of violence for somebody that was intent on committing homicidal violence,” Engle said.
Per standard procedure, Engle said four officers have been placed on administrative leave - including the one who shot the suspect.
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