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Burglary suspect dies after he is shot by Centralia police officer

An 18-year-old burglary suspect died after he was shot by a Centralia police officer early Tuesday.

About 5 a.m., police were dispatched to a burglary in progress at a home on the 1400 block of Logan Street in Centralia. Police ordered the suspect, who reportedly had a knife, to stop coming toward officers. He did not, and an officer, later identified as Fredrick Mercer, shot him, according to a Centralia Police Department news release.

The teen, Joshua Flores of Centralia, died at a local hospital. The Lewis County Coroner’s Office said he died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Mercer has been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by a regional investigation team, according to Centralia police.

Mercer has been with the department since 2012.

Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.