Authorities Release Name of State Trooper Who Fatally Shot Suspected Truck Thief


The law enforcement officer who fatally shot a man who stole a truck in Fife last month is a 29-year-old trooper with the Washington State Patrol.

Stephen O'Brien has been with the State Patrol for three years, according to a Friday news release from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. O'Brien has been placed on administrative leave, which is stand procedure after a police shooting.

No other law enforcement officers fired their weapons during the incident, Pierce County sheriff's Sgt. Darren Moss said in an email.

The Pierce County Force Investigation Team is investigating the shooting, which left 34-year-old Dwayne Michael Fields dead.

On June 25, someone called 911 at 5:50 a.m. to report that a work truck had been stolen from the Coca Cola distribution center in the 3500 block of 20th Street East.

The truck, described as a "terminal tractor" or "yard truck," is used to move semi-trailers in warehouses. The suspected thief did not pull over for Fife police or state troopers, prompting a pursuit.

Fife police used stop sticks to try to stop the truck, and the State Patrol helped in the pursuit and with blocking traffic. The tractor kept going.

During the chase, the driver struck several fences, caused property damage at multiple warehouses and businesses and hit a Fife patrol car, Moss told The News Tribune last month.

The tractor headed into a warehouse parking lot, where at about 6:15 a.m., officers notified dispatchers that shots had been fired.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, the press release said. On July 7, Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office identified him as Fields.

No officers or troopers were injured.

Investigators have not said what led up to the shooting or whether Fields was armed.