Police kill man attacking immigration-detention center

Clay Curtis
July 14, 2019

A man armed with a rifle attacked an immigration detention facility in Washington state early on Saturday, throwing incendiary devices at the building and cars in the parking lot before dying after police opened fire, authorities said.

He is also believed to have attempted to ignite a large propane tank outside the building.

The man, a Vashon Island resident, died at the scene after shots were fired, police said.

"It is no surprise in desperate times when people are moved to desperate measures", the anti-ICE group No More Concentration Camps said in a Facebook post. "These are the kinds of incidents that keep you up at night". The detention center canceled visitations for the day but did not go into lockdown, Roman said.

US President Donald Trump announced a major crackdown on Saturday that is expected to target immigrant families in 10 cities will take place over the weekend. Seattle is not among the cities reportedly being targeted.

The Tacoma Police Department responded to calls around 4 a.m. when Van Spronsen, armed with a file and flares, started throwing incendiary devices toward a propane tank in an effort to set fire to the facility and managed to ignite a auto. After handcuffing him, police found that he had a collapsible baton and folding knife in his pocket.

The News-Tribune reports that Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer's neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

Van Spronsen was escorted away through dozens of screaming protesters, the prosecutor wrote. No law enforcement officers were injured.

"He was ready to end it", Bartley said.

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She added: "I think this was a suicide". But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs ...

She said that she and other friends of Van Spronsen got letters in the mail "just saying goodbye".

Van Spronsen has had a history of violence against the police.

At around 4 a.m. on Saturday, the Washington State man threw "incendiary devices" at the ICE detention center and nearby cars, setting one on fire.

The man had flares on his body, police said.

The medical examiner's office reported that Van Spronsen sustained multiple gunshot wounds during the exchange of gunfire, the Seattle Times article stated. After medical aid arrived, officers approached the man and determined that he had been shot and killed. The four officers involved were placed on administrative leave in accordance with the department's policy.

Four officers arrived at the scene and were involved in the shooting.

She said another rally was planned for later Saturday, but it would have to be held in a different area because of the investigation into the shooting. A police official said it could not yet be confirmed who was responsible for his death. The department plans to release more information after the officers involved have been interviewed. Police also found a rifle in his possession.

The planned raids come me at a time of intense scrutiny surrounding ICE and the treatment of migrants at detention centers.

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