End of Watch: 10/25/1986
Agency: Tacoma Police Department
County: Pierce County
At approximately 2:30 AM on October 25, 1986, Tacoma Police Officers Larry Walker, 44, and David Paul responded to a domestic disturbance at 755 South 39th Street. They met the female complainant, who was the suspect’s wife in front of their home, and then heard something being thrown through the front window of the house. As the Officers approached the home, the woman’s husband, twenty-three-year-old Jeffrey Westmark, confronted Officer Paul with a butcher knife.
Ignoring Officer Paul’s commands to stop, Westmark advanced toward Officer Paul as the Officer fired at him. Officer Paul slipped and fell backward as he stepped away from Westmark, who then jumped on top of Officer Paul and tried to stab him with the butcher knife. As they struggled on the ground, Officer Paul fired additional shots at Westmark, one of which accidentally struck Officer Walker.
Three minutes had elapsed between the time the Officers arrived at the Westmark home and the moment Officer Walker was shot. Westmark, described as “shockingly violent” at the inquest, forever altered the lives of many people in those three minutes.
Officer Larry Walker joined the Tacoma Police Department on August 14, 1967 and was awarded the Department’s Lifesaving Medal in 1976 for saving a cardiac patient. Officer Walker was survived by his wife and four daughters.