TACOMA, Wash. — A man armed with a rifle and throwing incendiary devices at an immigration jail in Washington state early Saturday morning died after four police officers arrived and opened fire, authorities said.
The Tacoma Police Department said the officers responded at about 4 a.m. to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, a Department of Homeland Security detention facility that holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Trump’s ‘‘zero tolerance’’ policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.
The shooting took place about six hours after a peaceful rally in front of the detention center, police spokesman Loretta Cool said. She said another rally was planned for later Saturday, but it would have to be held in a different area because of the investigation into the police shooting.
Police said that the man caused a vehicle to catch fire and that he attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set buildings on fire. Police said that besides the rifle, he had a satchel and flares.
Police said officers called out to the man, and shots were fired.
Cool said all four officers fired their weapons, but she didn’t have specific details of what took place. She said the officers weren’t wearing body cameras, but the area is covered by surveillance cameras from the detention center. She said she didn’t know if the man fired at the officers.
After the gunfire, officers took cover, contained the area, and set up medical aid a short distance away, police said.
Officers then located the man and determined he had been shot and was dead at the scene. His name hasn’t been released.
A motive for the man’s actions hasn’t been determined, Cool said.