Boy drowns in swamp after Pierce County police chase


A boy who Lakewood police say was driving a stolen car drowned in a swamp Saturday after officers attempted to stop him and four others.

Lakewood police were alerted to the stolen Kia Sportage around 10 p.m. on Saturday, according to a news release, and followed the vehicle without lights or a siren on while waiting for additional officers.

Once the vehicle approached a locked gate at Lochburn Middle School, an officer activated their lights and siren, but the car continued north on Woodland Avenue Southwest, according to the release. The vehicle approached a dead end, stopped, and several people fled from the car on foot toward a swamp.

Officers pursued them and found a handgun on the ground and another in the car. Officers found two of the juveniles, both wet, and saw a third person about 40 feet out in the swamp.

"Numerous attempts were made to get the person to leave the water," but the person refused, the release said. Officers went into the water and were not immediately able to find him. They found the juvenile, whose age was not specified, submerged in about 3 feet of water.

Officers removed the unresponsive boy from the water and, along with West Pierce Fire & Rescue, began lifesaving measures. They continued to search for the two other individuals in the area into Sunday, and an additional firearm was found in the swamp where the boy had been.

Major Crime Detectives are investigating.