(Editor's note: This is from the Lakewood Police Department regarding last weekend's hostage situation at Washington State Employees Credit Union)
On Aug. 25, at approximately 1154 hours, Lakewood Police Officers were dispatched to the Washington State Employees Credit Union for a report of a man with a gun holding 12 people hostage inside. Officers were on scene immediately and surrounded the building. A crisis negotiator attempted multiple times to establish communication with the suspect but he would not acknowledge the negotiator.
After approximately 45 minutes, the suspect walked into the glass enclosed foyer with a female victim and was still visibly armed with a handgun. Fearing for the safety of the female victim and the hostages, officers shot and disabled the suspect. Officers then closed in on the suspect and secured the premises. The suspect was transported to Tacoma General Hospital in critical condition. The suspect is still at the hospital under 24/7 police guard duty and could be there for 1-2 more weeks. He will be booked into the Pierce County Jail when he is released.
The suspect is a 47-year-old male from Tacoma named Arnold Briones Flores. He and the primary female victim were married for over 26 years and were recently separated with a history of Domestic Violence. Initial indications are that they met at the Credit Union to resolve financial matters and the suspect attacked the victim once inside. The suspect initially attacked and stabbed the victim with a knife prior to pulling out the handgun. The gun used by the suspect turned out to be a very realistic looking .177 caliber BB gun (see attached picture). The female victim’s wounds were not life threatening.
The officers that fired their weapons that day were Officer Joseph Kolp and Officer Paul Osness. Officer Kolp is 47 years old and has been in law enforcement for 13 ½ years. Officer Kolp previously worked for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and came to Lakewood PD in August 2004. Officer Kolp is a past member of the Metro Swat Team. Officer Osness is 44 years old and has been in law enforcement for 8 ½ years. Officer Osness previously worked for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and came to Lakewood PD in August 2004. Officer Osness is currently a defensive tactics instructor and a firearms instructor. Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation is being conducted. This is a normal procedure for officers involved in on-duty shootings.
This incident is being investigated by the Lakewood Police Department with assistance from the Cooperative Cities Crime Response Unit and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.