UPDATED: 1/9/18, 6:20 a.m.
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Det. Ed Troyer confirmed Monday afternoon that a second suspect in the late-night fatal shooting of a Pierce County deputy is in custody.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Daniel McCartney was fatally wounded in a middle-of-the-night exchange of gunfire, and already the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has added the grim statistic to its 2018 data. According to Troyer, the suspect was initially arrested on a warrant from Shelton in Mason County. He was later identified as the second suspect that law enforcement was looking for.
So far this year, there have been four law enforcement fatalities around the country, according to NLEOMF statistics. McCartney is the only one so far to die from gunfire. Two others have died in traffic incidents and one is listed in the “Other Causes” category, which includes “Aircraft Crash, Drowning, Electrocution, Fall, Fire-Related Incident, Job-Related Illness and Poisoning.”
McCartney reportedly was first on the scene to an occupied residential burglary. He reportedly pursued two suspects on foot. Shots were exchanged. One of the suspects, described only a as white male, was killed and McCartney was fatally wounded. He died later at a Tacoma hospital.
Last year, according to NLEOMF, 128 federal, state and local law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. This represents a 10 percent decrease in the number of officers who died during 2016, when 143 officers died.
Of those fatalities, according to NLEOMF preliminary data, gunfire was the second-leading cause of line-of-duty death, behind traffic-related incidents. Forty-seven officers died last year from traffic-related injuries. The organization maintains an accounting of law enforcement deaths dating all the way back to 1791.
Over the 10 years from 2007 through 2016, NLEOMF listed 537 firearm-related officer fatalities, while 393 died in auto crashes, another 67 died in motorcycle crashes, and 127 were struck by vehicles for a total of 587 who died in traffic-related mishaps.
The call to which McCartney was responding was in an area southeast of Tacoma. Investigators have recovered two guns at the scene. Importantly, now that the suspect, identified as Frank William Pawul, 32, is in custody, it is clear that preliminary descriptions were erroneous. The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting that Pawul has a criminal history that includes felony convictions for burglary, identity theft and drug possession. He was wanted in Mason County on a bench warrant for failure to appear to face other charges.
McCartney, a Navy veteran, leaves behind a wife and three sons.
By no small coincidence, the West Seattle Blog recently reported on a string of home invasion robberies in King County, which neighbors Pierce County on the north. KOMO also covered such robberies just before the holidays. Those incidents dated back to October.
Home invasion burglary/robbery is a crime ample enough to have its own definition at Wikipedia.