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Police Kill Islander at Tacoma Detention Center

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A large police presence attends on the island with a search warrant

Tacoma police shot dead Vashon resident Willem Van Spronsen in Tacoma early Saturday morning after launching incendiary devices at the detention center for immigrants in the detention center, according to several sources.

A large police presence arrived on the island Saturday afternoon to help the Tacoma police obtain a search warrant, said County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ryan Abbott. Swat teams from King County and Tacoma police came with members of King County's anti-bomb squad and hostage negotiating teams. Guardian One, the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter, was also expected.

According to numerous reports, 69-year-old Van Spronsen was armed with a rifle and threw incendiary devices at buildings and cars. A car was completely in flames. He had also tried to light a propane tank, but without success.

According to the report in the Tacoma News Tribune newspaper, Mr. Van Spronsen was carrying a bag and equipment containing explosives. He would have died on the scene.

As of Saturday night, the police were still at Van Spronsen's residence in the west and an officer was asking at least some drivers to turn around.

The New York Times, which also published an account of the incident, announced that the Tacoma police were working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security. The Seattle Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also involved.

This is a story in development and will be updated.

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