Crime

Man tased by police after allegedly shoplifting at Walmart falls in front of moving car

A man fleeing after reportedly shoplifting Wednesday evening at the Mount Vernon Walmart was tased by a Mount Vernon police officer, fell onto a road, was hit by a passing car and died at the scene.

The identity of the man has not been released, according to a Washington State Patrol release on the incident, while the man’s family is notified of his death.

According to the press release, at approximately 8:25 p.m. the Mount Vernon Police Department was notified that a shoplifter was running away from Walmart on Freeway Drive, and a witness provided a description of his clothing and said he was last seen near Burgermaster, just south of Walmart.

The first arriving officer saw a man matching the description and contacted him, but the man fled on foot with the officer in pursuit. According to the release, the man began to run across Freeway Drive when the officer used his taser, causing the man to fall to the ground, where he was struck by a 2008 Kia Opitma traveling southbound on the road and suffered fatal injuries.

MVPD contacted the Skagit Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART), which is made up of detectives from several Skagit County law enforcement agencies, to investigate the incident.

A second release from the State Patrol said that the involved officer is 37 years old and has served with the department for four years. He has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

SMART detectives are seeking any witnesses with information to call a tip line at 360-426-1950.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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