Tacoma Officer Sacrificed Himself To Save Two Others

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A woman who witnessed Wednesday’s shooting of Tacoma, Wa., police officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez said he sacrificed himself to save his partner and the wife of the man who opened fire, reports the Seattle Times. Kristi Croskey said Gutierrez repeatedly yelled, “Get out! Get out!” to his partner and the woman as shots were fired from an upstairs landing in a home. Croskey was downstairs when she “heard the shells bouncing off the floor” above her head. Gutierrez, 45, a 17-year department veteran known for his ability to defuse tense domestic-violence situations, collapsed inside the home as his partner returned fire and led the man’s wife outside to safety. Croskey hid in a downstairs bathroom before fleeing.

The gunman, Bruce Randall “Zeus” Johnson II, 38, was killed early yesterday by a sheriff’s sniper after an 11-hour standoff in which police say he used his two children, ages 6 and 8, as human shields. Both children were rescued unharmed. Police said they found several weapons inside the home. The death of Gutierrez, the first Tacoma officer to die from gunfire since 1997, was the focus of two emotional candlelight vigils. One relative described Johnson as “troubled.” He took an anger-management class after he was involved in an altercation outside a marijuana store last year in which he was armed with a handgun.

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