TACOMA, WA – Independent and concurrent investigations by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office, Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department regarding the shooting death of Brian McLeod, 25, have been completed. McLeod died from gunshot wounds inflicted by Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy J. Sousley.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the death was justifiable homicide under state law. "Deputy Sousley was unfortunately put in a position where deadly force was necessary to protect himself and others."
On March 21, 2014, at 11:30 p.m., a University Place resident called 911 to report sounds of a fight coming from an adjoining townhome. Officers arrived and knocked. They heard someone inside the townhome cry out, “Call the police!” The officers announced they were the police. A male, who was covered in blood, opened the door, told the officers he had been stabbed and that “the guy has a gun.” The officers could hear a shotgun being racked inside the residence, so they and the bloodied man took cover. McLeod came to the doorway with a long-barreled shotgun. Deputy Sousley ordered him to drop the gun, but McLeod raised it in the direction of the officers. Fearing for his life, and the lives of the other officer and the bloodied man, Deputy Sousley fired several shots at McLeod, striking him twice in the abdomen. The officers called for medical aid, but McLeod was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators found a large amount of blood inside the residence, and other signs that a significant struggle had taken place prior the officers’ arrival.
According to Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Clark, McLeod died from gunshot wounds to his abdomen. Dr. Clark also determined McLeod was intoxicated and had marijuana in his system at the time of his death.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office