PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Pierce County Council candidate Josh Harris, who shot a suspected car thief, will not be charged following an investigation that showed he acted in self defense, according to a memo from the prosecuting attorney's office.
The suspected car thief, Scott Stacy, will be charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle), after the same charge was previously dropped.
On May 30, Harris was in a wooded area near Cheney stadium looking for stolen property. While there, he found two vehicles he suspected to be stolen, according to the investigation by the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
Before leaving the area and calling police, a woman living in a tent told Harris that Stacy knew him and had "threatened to kill Harris and his family," according to the investigation.
When police arrived and confirmed at least one of the vehicles was stolen, they began walking back to the wooded area. At that time, the stolen vehicle drove up a path, past the officers and toward the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
The officers heard gunshots shortly after.
Both Harris and another man who joined Harris to search for stolen items drew handguns. As the vehicle approached, Harris fired multiple rounds at the driver's windshield, according to the investigation.
Stacy stopped the vehicle, put it in reverse, and then sped away from Harris.
Harris reported to officers that Stacy had his left hand outside the window and it appeared he was holding a gun. Harris said he feared for his life as Stacy drove toward him.
Harris' account of what happened was corroborated by five people, including the two officers who were wearing body cameras.
The investigation determined the shooting justified because either Harris or the other people standing in the parking lot would have been hit by the vehicle.
Stacy was later found back at the encampment. He had a gunshot wound to his head and left hand.
Stacy was placed under arrest and taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.