Tacoma police officer fatally shot ID'd as 17-year veteran on force

Dan Springer reports from Tacoma


The Tacoma police officer who was fatally shot before dawn Thursday during a lenghty standoff was identified as a 17-year veteran on the city's police force.

Reginald Gutierrez, 45, a patrolman, was remembered as a well-respected law officer during a Thursday evening press conference. 

"He is a model police officer," Don Ramsdell, the police chief, said.

The suspect was shot and killed at about 3:30 a.m., ending an 11-hour standoff, authorities said.

The suspect was not identified but he refused to surrender during negotiations and used two children as human shields. At one point, Ramsdell said the suspect engaged with police and appeared to be cooperating.

60 law enforcement officers fatally shot this year, 20 in ambushes, report says

A girl and a boy were found unharmed inside the house, where authorities also discovered multiple weapons.

Earlier, the neighborhood was locked down while officers tried bring about a peaceful resolution.

Kristi Croskey, who rented the home to the suspect and his wife, was inside the home at the time and barricaded herself in the bathroom before she was able to escape, KOMO-TV reported.

She said police showed up because the suspect was fighting with his wife and refused to let her back inside.

"They said they just wanted to talk to him and then gunfire started, they didn't start it," Croskey said.

The events began Wednesday afternoon when officers investigating a domestic violence call went to the house and one was shot multiple times, said Tacoma Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool. Shortly after arriving, officers called for backup.

Reacting to the shots fired, officers entered the home and managed to get the wounded officer outside and to a hospital, Cool said.

The officer, who was not identified, died Wednesday night after undergoing surgery.

"We've suffered a great loss and I think the community has suffered a great loss. I don't know how to put that into words," Cool said.

A procession of law enforcement officers escorted the officer's body from the hospital to the county medical examiner's office.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said "all of Washington grieves with Tacoma, which tonight lost one of their finest."

He added: "Our hearts are with the men and women of the Tacoma Police Department, their families, and their brothers and sisters in law enforcement across Washington."

The Associated Press contributed to this report