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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Investigators release body camera video of Pierce County deputy shooting man in standoff

UPDATED: Fri., April 29, 2022

By Peter Talbot (Tacoma) News Tribune

TACOMA – A Pierce County team that investigates police uses of deadly force released body camera video Thursday that shows a Sheriff’s Department deputy shooting a man during a standoff in Parkland.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded April 15 to an apartment complex after a 10-year-old boy called 911 to say his father had been drinking and tried to hit him and his younger brother. According to court records, deputy Jared Beem, 25, shot the 54-year-old father after the man was seen pointing a handgun at deputies from a window.

The father, Eric Quentin Smith, was shot in the shoulder and was taken to an area hospital for treatment after he surrendered. He has since been charged with second-degree assault.

The video released by the Pierce County Force Investigation Team begins at 8:09 p.m. with at least two deputies outside Smith’s door.

“Are you armed?” one deputy shouts.

Smith’s reply is loud but difficult to make out, and at that point, deputies appear to draw their weapons.

“He said he’s going to shoot,” one deputy says into his radio. According to PCFIT, the man said he would shoot deputies if they came inside.

Then, just before 8:10 p.m., deputies move to a bedroom window facing the parking lot. The two boys had locked themselves in the room. Deputies ask the children to open the window. One slides it open.

“He has a gun,” a boy tells deputies.

The children escape through the window. According to PCFIT, the boys’ mother was aware of the situation and was on her way from her residence to get the children.

For a few seconds, deputy Beem watches inside the room the children have just escaped. Then, at an adjacent window, Smith appears to tap the glass with a weapon.

“Hey! He’s got a gun,” Beem says. He’s got a …”

There’s more movement at the window, and Beem fires one gunshot at 49 seconds past 8:10 p.m. About a minute later, Beem radios that shots were fired.

Smith was struck in the hand and left shoulder. According to PCFIT, the injury was consistent with Smith holding his weapon up and pointed toward deputies. The father calls 911 to report he had been shot.

A negotiator was called to the scene along with medical aid. According to PCFIT, Smith came to the window several times over the next hour and displayed a gun to deputies. At one point, he came outside while still armed but then retreated into the apartment.

At 9:28 p.m., the man exited unarmed and was taken into custody, according to PCFIT. Emergency medical aid was provided to Smith until he could be transported to a hospital.

Deputies searched the apartment and recovered a loaded handgun in Smith’s bedroom closet. PCFIT is continuing to investigate the shooting.

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