GIG HARBOR — Deputies checking on a vacant house found squatters growing marijuana, and one man who sped away in the direction of a deputy was shot and grazed, the Pierce County sheriff’s office said.
The driver suffered only a 4-inch scratch on his back, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. When the man was finally arrested, the bullet was still caught in his coat. The force of the bullet had been spent penetrating the car.
The incident Friday involved the arrests of four other people and a police chase into Tacoma.
It began when neighbors asked deputies to check on the vacant home near Gig Harbor — an expensive house down a long driveway, Troyer said.
Deputies discovered squatters had broken into the home and were using it for a marijuana growing operation, he said.
“This guy came roaring out at high speed,” Troyer said.
Fearing for his life, a deputy fired several rounds into the car. The deputy was not hurt. The car sped away.
Deputies followed it to a second house where the driver switched to a pickup truck. He led police on a chase to Tacoma, stopped the truck in a yard and tried to run away. He was found trying to hide and arrested.
As he was being handcuffed, deputies found the bullet caught in his coat. He was treated at the scene for the scrape.
“He’s lucky that the bullet just grazed him,” Troyer said.
Two people were arrested at the house near Gig Harbor and two more were arrested at the second house where the driver switched to the pickup, Troyer said.
Pierce County sheriff’s photos: