RENTON, Wash. -- The Washington State Patrol has fired a decorated trooper, accusing him of an unjustified shooting last April in Renton.
Trooper Jeff Laeuger fired shots during a traffic stop along Interstate 405 in Renton after a motorist took off and ran over the trooper’s foot.
A Washington State Patrol spokesperson says the trooper was fired because he took the shots as the car was driving away.
“The vehicle was going away from Trooper Laeuger and he was not in danger at that time,” said WSP spokesperson Bob Calkins.
The trooper’s union called the decision “Monday morning quarterbacking” and said it will fight the firing, according to Trooper Mike Cheek.
The union says Laeuger felt his life was in danger and fired within two to three seconds of being struck.
The union says patrol brass did not take into account Laeuger’s work history. Records show he has no serious blemishes on this record and he was the Trooper of the Year for auto theft arrests in 2009.
The State Patrol says Laeuger has appealed his firing to a WSP disciplinary review board.