TACOMA, WA – Today Nathen Ryan Terault, 35, pled guilty to First Degree Murder, First Degree Robbery, and five counts of Second Degree Assault in connection with the murder of Richard Johnson and the shooting rampage in Puyallup in August of last year. Terault was sentenced to over 51 years in prison.
“As horrible as this was it could have been worse if Puyallup police hadn’t arrived at the scene as quickly as they did,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “These crimes jolted our sense of community safety. The defendant is being held accountable and will never again be a threat to our community.”
On Aug. 11, 2015, Terault fled from Puyallup Police officers who were attempting to stop him for speeding. He abandoned his vehicle near Johnson’s home, where he shot Johnson twice, killing him. Terault then retrieved a bag from Johnson’s vehicle. After shooting Johnson, Terault fired several shots at a woman and her two children, who had been standing nearby.
Neighbors at another home heard gunshots and saw Terault inside their truck. They yelled at Terault from inside their home and he fired several shots at them. One of residents ran to shut the garage door, but Terault entered the garage and fired a shot. As the woman ran to her front door, she encountered Terault. He pointed the gun at her face and demanded her car keys. She threw the keys at him and ran out of the house. Terault took the keys, started the woman’s vehicle and drove it through the garage door.
While fleeing in the stolen car, Terault fired multiple shots at pursuing officers, striking their patrol cars. He also pointed his gun at a pedestrian during the pursuit.
Terault collided with another vehicle and then fired multiple shots at the occupants. After abandoning the stolen vehicle, Terault ran up to another occupied vehicle and fired multiple rounds into the driver’s side door.
In an attempt to stop Terault, pursuing police officers fired at Terault, striking him once in the leg. Terault was also hit by a patrol car and was pinned under the vehicle. Officers called for medical aid and Terault was transported to the hospital.
Terault was sentenced to the high end of the sentencing range, 548 months in prison, plus an additional 72 months in prison for deadly weapons enhancements on three of the five counts of assault.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].