Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Man who carjacked semi on I-5 emerged from it with knife, investigators say

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OLYMPIA — The man who carjacked a semi-trailer on I-5 near Lacey last Friday emerged from that vehicle with a knife before he was shot dead by law enforcement, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

The incident shut down the freeway for more than 12 hours.

The sheriff’s offices in Lewis and Mason counties are both investigating the incident because Washington State Patrol troopers and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office responded to it.

Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said the man died of multiple gunshot wounds. He also held a box knife in his right hand, Warnock said. The coroner’s examination revealed he had superficial cuts to his neck, he said.

Warnock said his office is still trying to identify the man, who was not carrying identification.

About 1:45 p.m. Friday, troopers were dispatched to a report of a man running into traffic on I-5 at Exit 109 for Martin Way, investigators say. They say the man caused freeway traffic to stop, then tried to open multiple car doors.

“He eventually gained access to a stopped semi-truck that was on I-5,” the investigators’ news release reads. “At 1:53 p.m., the subject assaulted the driver and forced him out of the semi-truck. At 1:54 p.m., the subject then drove the semi-truck into several vehicles and eventually rolled the truck in the median.”

Although a direction wasn’t given, this reportedly happened on southbound I-5.

Investigators say the man refused to come out of the truck and appeared to be “extremely agitated.” Other law enforcement were called to the scene, including a negotiator and an armored vehicle, according to the release.

“WSP was unable to break through the windshield with their less lethal rounds, so they deployed a ram on the end of the SWAT vehicle and were able to remove the windshield,” the news release says.

“Pepper ball rounds, flash bangs, and other less lethal munitions were used to get the subject to comply. The subject finally came out of the cab of the semi-truck armed with a knife and charged at an officer.”

At 3:48 p.m., the State Patrol announced shots were fired and medical aid was under way. The man ultimately died at the scene.

Two Washington State Patrol troopers have been put on paid leave while the incident is being investigated, Mason County Chief Deputy Jason Dracobly said.

Officers are being interviewed and evidence is being processed, according to investigators. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact lead Detective Tyson Brown with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-740-1326 or Tyson.Brown@lewiscountywa.gov.

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