TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Republican candidate for Pierce County Council Josh Harris will not be charged with any crime following a shooting in which Harris shot a man driving a vehicle towards him in Tacoma.
The county attorney’s office said an investigation showed Harris acted in self-defense, KING5 reported. The man who was shot will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that on May 30, Harris was in a wooded area near a homeless camp looking for stolen property and found two suspected stolen vehicles. It was unclear why Harris was looking for stolen property or what property he was specifically looking for in this area.
He said a woman in a tent told him a man knew Harris and threatened to kill him.
The police arrived, confirmed that a vehicle had been stolen and started walking towards the wooded area. At that point, someone in the stolen vehicle drove into a path past officers and Harris fired several shots at the windshield, hitting the driver, the investigation found.
The driver pulled over and drove away from Harris in the opposite direction, the investigation said.
Harris said the driver had his left hand outside the window and appeared to be holding a gun. Harris’ account of what happened was corroborated by five people, including two officers who wore body cameras.
The investigation determined that the shooting was justified because Harris or others nearby were allegedly hit by the vehicle. The driver was later found at the camp with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Harris, who owns a construction company, is running for a board seat as a pro-law enforcement nominee, The Seattle Times reported. Harris also paid $300,000 to bail out three Tacoma police officers charged with the death of a black man, Manuel Ellis, from lack of oxygen caused by restraint. Harris’ brother is also a Tacoma police chaplain.