A Washington man was attempting to recover stolen vehicles and property. But the recovery turned into a self-defense shooting when the car thief tried to run him over.
On Monday, Memorial Day, Pierce County Council candidate Josh Harris attempted to recover a stolen vehicle. Apparently, he met with a group of citizens who had their cars and property stolen. They arrived at a homeless encampment in Tacoma where a known violent and prolific car thief was known to be. According to the police, Harris called to report that a man threatened him while attempting to recover one of the stolen vehicles.
Officers responded to the call, and while at the encampment, the suspect sped passed them in the stolen vehicle toward the parking lot that Harris was in. According to Harris, the suspect was driving toward him at a high rate of speed. Fearing for his life, he drew his concealed carry gun, which he had a Washington concealed carry permit for, and shot at the suspect, who then drove into an eco block, a large cement block that prevents people from parking in the area. The suspect threw it into reverse, sped toward the officers, and then fled through a fence and a bike trail.
The suspect was arrested the following day when he returned to the encampment. It was reported that he had wounds to his head and hand, and there we bullet holes in the vehicle he returned in. He was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and arrested for assault 1 and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Here is the statement Harris released to KIRO 7:
“On Monday afternoon, I met with other citizens whose vehicles were stolen and to retrieve their personal property. We contacted Tacoma Non-Emergency to inform them of actions taking place because of a known violent and prolific car thief known to be in the area. We retrieved the items and noted a stolen U-Haul car dolly and two stolen cars. A person I am helping to get back on her feet informed us that the car thief had told her he knew where I lived and was going to kill me and board my doors and windows and burn my family to death. We left the area and gave notice to 911 that there were other vehicles located on the property. Officers arrived and went to check on the stolen vehicles. The suspect started one of the vehicles and charged the officers with the stolen car. He then drove up the road where we were waiting at a high rate of speed. He drove head-on at me, and with no place to run, I drew my firearm and shot him in self-defense. He continued driving into an eco block in front of me. He then sped in reverse, boring down on the officers. He drove up a hill, through the WASDOT fencing, and continued up the pedestrian bike trail at a high rate of speed.
This individual is a registered sex offender, prolific car thief, and had been shooting at random vehicles and violently threatening workers at south sound businesses.
Our jail is understaffed, our judges lack accountability, and policy have handcuffed our officers from being able to protect the public and themselves.”