Homicide Suspect Killed in Police Shootout on Washington State Freeway

TILLICUM, Wash. (AP) — A dozen police officers shot at and killed a homicide suspect during a gun battle along Interstate 5 in Washington state Saturday morning, authorities said.

The man, in his 40s, had killed his girlfriend as she worked at a nursing facility in University Place, near Tacoma, at about 6:15 a.m., said Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer. Police soon spotted him and chased his vehicle southbound on I-5 as he shot at them.

The suspect exited the highway and then got back on heading north, at which point the pursuing officers forced his car to spin out near an exit for Tillicum, said Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler.

The man took cover behind his vehicle and engaged police in a shootout, Lawler said. Twelve officers from three agencies — Lakewood and Steilacoom police, as well as the sheriff’s department — shot back, killing him.

No officers were injured in the gunfire, Lawler said.

There have been no reports of any shots striking passersby or nearby businesses, Lawler said.

The homicide victim worked at University Place Care Center, a long-term care facility, which said in a statement that it contacted a private security company to ensure the facility is safe and enlisted counseling services for any traumatized staff or residents.

“Tragically and without warning, there was a shooting this morning at University Place Care Center that took the life of one of our nurses,” the statement said. “This was not a random event but appears to have been an act of domestic violence that occurred during a shift change at the facility.

“At no time were our residents in danger. We are working through our deep shock and grief over this situation, and are assisting the authorities in any manner possible.”

All but one lane of I-5 northbound was closed, with a 10-mile traffic backup Saturday, for the investigation.

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