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Tacoma police: Officer shoots, kills man who refused to drop gun after stealing cell phone


TACOMA, Washington — An off-duty Tacoma police officer shot and killed a man who refused to drop his gun after stealing a woman's cell phone, the department said.

It happened after two men saw the suspect steal the woman's phone at a bus stop late Wednesday afternoon. They chased him to a truck and struggled with him as the officer happened to drive by, said police spokeswoman Loretta Cool.

According to Cool, the suspect pulled a gun, pointed it at the men and got in his truck. The officer got out of his car, identified himself as police, and ordered the suspect several times to drop his weapon. The officer then fired a single shot.

The man briefly drove off before crashing into a street sign. Medics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The officer, who is black, is a 59-year-old veteran who has been in law enforcement for 29 years, including 23 with Tacoma police. He has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed, per standard procedure.

The suspect was described as white, 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. His identity was not immediately released pending confirmation by the Pierce County medical examiner.

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