Police in Tacoma, Washington, say they shot and killed a man armed with a rifle and throwing flammable objects at a migrant detention center. The attack followed a rally outside the facility by several hours. The motivation of the attacker has not been released at this time.
An employee at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma called police early Saturday morning to report a man with a rifle who was throwing “incendiary devices” and setting vehicles on fire, according to a report by QFox13.
The attack on the migrant detention center followed by several hours, a rally by migrant supporters outside the facility operated for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by GEO Group.
It is unknown at this time if the individual was attacking the facility with anti-ICE motivations, anti-migrant motivations, or if it was unrelated to either motive; however, a statement from GEO Group, a Florida based company that operates the facility in Tacoma, attributed the attack to the anger resulting from misrepresentations in media.
The statement, published by QFox13 blamed “factually inaccurate portrayal” of their detention centers for spurring “misplaced aggression and a dangerous environment for our employees.”
Tacoma police reported that officers responded to the call at abut 4 a.m. on Saturday. The officers say the man wore a satchel and was holding flares, the Seattle Times reported. Spokeswoman Loretta Cool told reporters that officers reported, “shots fired.” The officers then fired at the suspect, she said. When officers approached the man, they determined he had been shot and killed.
Cool said it is not clear at this time if the suspect shot himself or if police officers shot him. Officials have not yet released the suspect’s identity.
A rally planned for Saturday afternoon by the group La Resistencia had to be postponed due to road closures around the facility and the ongoing investigation, the group posted on its Facebook page.
Cool said that four officers were involved in the shooting. The four officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
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