A 38-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting a Tacoma police officer was killed by police gunfire early Thursday after a nearly 12-hour standoff at an East Side home.
The suspect has not been identified.
A SWAT team rescued a boy and girl from the three-story house in the 400 block of East 52nd Street.
“The kids are safe and out of the house,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
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Police had been unsure whether the children were in the home during the standoff. Their mother was able to get out of the house after the officer was shot and before the suspect barricaded himself inside.
The girl, believed to be 11, and the boy, believed to be 8, were taken to the hospital to be checked out.
The suspect’s relationship with the kids was unclear.
The Pierce County sheriff’s deputy who fired the shot that killed the suspect has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Authorities said they knew late Wednesday that the suspect was using the kids as a shield.
“We were able to get in the house and get one of the kids away from him,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. “We had a SWAT member who had a clear shot. We fired one round, which struck him, and we were able to rescue the second kid.”
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly after the suspect was killed, Tacoma police began removing tape and allowing residents back into the neighborhood.
She cautioned that it could take some time for the 153 law enforcement officers who were on scene to depart.
Several investigators will remain to process the scene.
“There were a lot of heroic actions by many police officers from many agencies,” Troyer said.
Miles from the scene, law enforcement officers stood guard over the fallen officer’s body at the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Troopers took the first shift, and Tacoma officers were expected to take over about 5:30 a.m.
It is police tradition not to leave a fallen officer alone until he or she is buried.