Armed man attacking Tacoma’s ICE detention center killed in officer-involved shooting

Tacoma Police reported an officer-involved shooting early Saturday  at the Northwest Detention Center, the holding facility in Tacoma for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Rebekah Welch / The Seattle Times)

Tacoma police said they shot at an armed man early Saturday who was attacking the Northwest Detention Center, the holding facility in Tacoma for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The man died at the scene.

Around 4 a.m., officers responded to an ICE employee’s report of a man armed with a rifle and throwing home-made incendiaries at the building and vehicles in the detention center’s parking lot, as well as attempting to ignite a propane tank, according to Tacoma police. Officers say they saw the man wearing a satchel and holding flares, as well as the rifle.

Officers reported “shots fired,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said, at which point the officers had fired; she did not know whether the man also fired. Officers retreated to cover, uninjured. After medical aid arrived, officers approached the man and determined that he had been shot and killed.

It is unclear whether the man was shot by officers or shot himself, said Cool. All four involved officers fired their weapons, she said.

Detectives and forensics were processing the scene Saturday morning; the man’s name has not been released. “I don’t even think at this point in time he’s been identified,” Cool said.

The four male officers involved —⁠ whose tenure with Tacoma police ranged from 20 years to 9 months — were placed on paid administrative leave per department policy, the department said. Their names won’t be released until further along in the investigation, according to Cool.

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