Gunman With Infatuation Fatally Shoots Teacher Outside School

A gunman with an infatuation with a Tacoma special education teacher lay in wait and fatally shot the woman as she arrived for school Friday morning, authorities told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

Police later fatally shot the gunman after a chase and confrontation about 10 miles away.Police said the victim, 30-year-old Jennifer Paulson, had an anti-harassment order against the 30-year-old gunman, Jed Waits, of Ellensburg.”They weren’t a couple,” said Mark Fulghum of the Tacoma Police Department. “It sounds like they were acquaintances. He had a pretty good infatuation with her — that’s probably the reason for the anti harassment order that was in effect.”

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In court documents obtained by KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, Paulson called the man a “stalker” and wrote that she was “afraid for her safety.”Fulghum said Waits recently made bail after being arrested for violating a protective order Paulson obtained in September 2008. He said the two had apparently known each other since college, when they worked together at a cafeteria at Seattle Pacific University.Paulson’s father said his daughter was “a very kind, merciful, loving person.”

“That’s why she was a special ed teacher — because she loved so much,” said Ken Paulson.”What happened today was evil,” Ken Paulson said.UNCUT: Tacoma School Shooting Scene
UNCUT: Scene Where Gunman ShotPolice said Waits had been waiting for about two hours outside Birney Elementary School on South 76th Street when Paulson arrived at about 7:30 a.m. and was gunned down.KIRO 7 reporter Alison Grande said there were few, if any, kids on campus at the time of the shooting because it happened before school started for the day. No children were hurt.The Tacoma Fire Department said firefighters arrived but could not revive the woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:42 a.m.KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Kevin McCarty said a description of the gunman’s car was put out immediately after the shooting, and a sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle heading southbound on Canyon Road.The deputy followed the car, and an undercover sheriff’s car joined. The deputy turned on his lights and tried to pull over the driver, who turned onto 160th Street East. After a short pursuit, the driver stopped in a parking lot next to a day care center.

The gunman got out of the car and fired a shot, authorities told McCarty. The deputy returned fire, killing Waits.Teachers at the school hugged each other in the parking lot with police officers and a medic unit, Grande reported.Video from Chopper 7 showed a car in the school parking lot surrounded by yellow crime scene tape.Paulson was a special education teacher who worked in the language resource center helping students one-on-one with reading problems, a school district spokesman said.District officials told Grande that Paulson joined the district in 2004 and had been at Birney Elementary since 2007.The school has a program for hard of hearing students.

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