TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says a Metro SWAT team member was justified in fatally shooting a Fife man who refused to release his 4-year-old son in a standoff earlier this year.
Lindquist concluded that Lakewood police officer Brian Markert was justified in shooting 30-year-old Leonard Benjamin Thomas on May 23. Lindquist described Markert as an "expert marksman" doing what was necessary to protect the child.
On that May day, Fife police responded to call from Thomas' mother, who said he had assaulted her. She said she was worried about her grandson.
Officials say police knew Thomas had a history of violence and had made prior threats at law enforcement officers. The day of the shooting, Thomas was acting erratically, including dangling his son from a second story window.
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