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Tacoma man charged for allegedly shooting at Chinook military helicopters at American Lake

Andrew Wright Jr. was arrested and charged for allegedly shooting at two military helicopters on Wednesday.

LAKEWOOD, Wash — A Tacoma man was charged after allegedly shooting at two Chinook military helicopters at American Lake on Wednesday.

Andre Wright Jr. faces charges of first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree and possession of a stolen firearm. Wright was referred for a competency hearing on June 22. 

Around 8 p.m. on June 7, Lakewood police were called to reports of shots fired at American Lake Park. Multiple people told dispatchers that a man had fired two rounds at military helicopters flying overhead, according to a statement of probable cause.

When officers arrived, a bystander was pointing at the suspect. 

Officers found a concealed Glock handgun on Wright, according to the statement of probable cause. He also had two metal "security" badges and handcuffs in a holster. Police also found a small bag of suspected methamphetamine.

"Per the reports, the way that the defendant had his gear configured on his belt, it appeared as if he was trying to portray himself as 'some sort of official peace officer,'" the probable cause statement reads.

The Glock handgun was later confirmed stolen out of Tacoma.

Officers found one expended shell casing in the area.

Wright told police he was a Lakewood officer with the Special Operations Unit. He also allegedly claimed to be a deputy with the sheriff's office helicopter unit, and said he was the commander of an airborne military unit - among other claims, according to the probable cause statement.

Officers confirmed with Joint Base Lewis-McChord that two Chinook military helicopters carrying 31 military members were in the area conducting low-level exercises over the lake at the time they were shot at.

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