Outside agency to take over investigation of incident where Pierce Co. Council candidate shot at suspect

Pierce County Council candidate Josh Harris told FOX 13 he was involved in a shooting of a suspect who allegedly threatened him when he went to recover stolen property.

According to Tacoma police, officers responded to the parking lot of the Boy Scout office on S. 19th St. just before 5 p.m. on May 30 to take a report on a threat.

A man had called 911 to report that he found his stolen property near a homeless encampment in a wooded area. The man was threatened by an encampment resident when he went to recover his stolen property, according to police. 

While officers were checking the encampment after the call, a vehicle drove past them in a stolen vehicle at a high rate of speed toward the Boy Scout office. Officers then heard shots fired.

When officers went back to the parking lot, they learned the man who made the call had shot at the car. He said the vehicle was speeding toward him and he feared for his life, so he fired the shot. 

Harris identified himself as the shooter to FOX 13. Tacoma police and the prosecutor's office would not confirm his identity. 

The 40-year-old suspect was located back at the encampment with non-life-threatening injuries. He was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment. The suspect will be booked into jail for first-degree assault and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

The shooter has a valid concealed pistol license and police confirmed the firearm was registered to him. The firearm was taken and placed into property as evidence.

The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced on June 3 that an outside agency would be taking over the investigation. Prosecuting Attorney Mary Robnett requested the change in investigating agency after learning: 

That the union representing Tacoma Police officers has endorsed Harris in his County Council bid

That in the past Harris has paid for suites at Rainiers games for members

"Without determining whether an actual conflict of interest exists, there is at least an appearance of a conflict that could undermine people’s confidence in the investigation. Chief Moore agreed," the prosecuting attorney's office announced.

Now, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office will take over the investigation. 

Harris made headlines in 2021 for bailing out three Tacoma police officers charged in the killing of Manuel "Manny" Ellis.