PORT ORCHARD — A 72-year-old South Kitsap man was shot by an officer May 15 near the 8000 block of Banner Road after twice leading Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office deputies and other law enforcement officers on a vehicular goose chase earlier that afternoon.
Deputy Scott Wilson, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the man was taken by a standby South Kitsap Fire and Rescue unit to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, where he underwent successful surgery. Wilson said the man is under watch at the hospital by officers from the Kitsap County Critical Incident Response Team.
Deputies were dispatched just after 3 p.m. to the suspect’s home on New Dove Lane in South Kitsap after his family became concerned about the man’s emotional health. Wilson said the man and his wife reportedly had been involved in a domestic violence incident earlier that afternoon.
Upset family members told deputies the man had left the house in his vehicle, taking with him a handgun.
“It wasn’t too difficult to find his vehicle, but we were unable to stop him since he was evading officers by turning up and down streets,” Wilson said. “He wasn’t going fast, but he would speed up when he felt we were containing him.”
The suspect brandished his handgun by waving it to law enforcement officers and, at one point, briefly pointed the revolver at himself.
The sheriff’s office shift supervisor ended the pursuit, Wilson said, when the chase entered onto downtown Port Orchard arterials.
“It was getting to be ‘busy time’ with lots of traffic on Bay Street around the time of the shipyard shift change,” the spokesman continued. “The decision was made correctly that the situation might endanger people on the roadway. Plus, we also knew that the man would head home at some point.”
While awaiting the man’s return home, the multi-agency law-enforcement team evacuated family members from inside and prepared the road area with spike strips to hinder his escape. When the man arrived home, he drove across a neighbor’s lawn to reach his house. Response team officers then followed him as he attempted to flee, by that time in his partially disabled vehicle.
The response team tailed him to the driveway of a small farm about a mile away on Banner Road, Wilson said. The man reportedly continued waving his gun after being stopped by officers, but the spokesman said the details of what transpired that led to the shooting are not yet fully known.
Wilson said Lt. Randy Hullinger of the Washington State Patrol, the lead investigative agency for the incident, will head an investigation into the details of the shooting.
“We’re grateful this didn’t end up with more injuries to the public or officers as a result of this incident,” Wilson said.