Prosecutor: Officer's use of force justified in shooting death of Tacoma woman

TACOMA -- Prosecutors have determined that a police officer's use of force that resulted in a Tacoma woman's death was justified.

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office made the announcement Friday regarding the police shooting of Jacqueline Salyers on Jan. 28. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist concluded the death was justifiable homicide under state law which requires "a showing of malice to prove an officer acted criminally."

Salyers was killed when police were trying to arrest Kenneth Wright, who had two outstanding felony warrants. When they approached the car he was in, police say, Salyers drove right at them. An officer fired, killing her.

Authorities determined the car was within inches of striking a police officer when he fired.

“Facts indicate Officer Campbell fired his gun because he was threatened by the car accelerating toward him,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “I understand the pain and sorrow felt by those who knew Jacqueline Salyers, but the facts in this case indicate a lawful, though tragic, shooting. I hope having all the facts in the open addresses concerns in our community.”

The medical examiner said Salyers died from a gunshot wound to the head. Dr. Thomas Clark also said she had morphine and a potentially fatal level of methamphetamine in her system at the time of her death.

Several weeks after the encounter, officers arrested Wright at a home in Tacoma.

In March, hundreds took part in a "Justice for Jackie" march to the federal courthouse in Tacoma to protest the shooting.