Four officers responded to the privately run immigration prison at about 4 a.m. Saturday and found the suspect outside the facility, according to the Tacoma Police Department. It was not clear how many shots were fired or whether the man fired at police.
A rally outside the facility concluded several hours prior to the incident and police said it remained peaceful.
Police said the man caused a vehicle to catch fire and that he attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set buildings on fire.
Officers said he was wearing a satchel and had flares, as well as a rifle, CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO reports. The officers then fired at the suspect, she said. "People in detention always are the last ones to know what's happening outside", Mora-Villalpando said.
The shooting took place hours after a rally in front of the detention center to protest planned mass deportation raids around the country.
Officers retreated to cover, uninjured. He had died on the scene.
Authorities say investigators are processing the scene and police are continuing to investigate. No officers were injured. All were placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy. "I don't even think at this point in time he's been identified", Cool said.
The shooting comes the day before Sunday's planned national raid by ICE targeting hundreds of immigrants who have received deportation orders. Nearby Seattle, however, is not one of those cities on the list.
"They were not told that visits would not happen, were not told that the accident happened in the early morning".
It is unknown at this time if the individual was attacking the facility with anti-ICE motivations, anti-migrant motivations, or if it was unrelated to either motive; however, a statement from GEO Group, a Florida based company that operates the facility in Tacoma, attributed the attack to the anger resulting from misrepresentations in media.
"Violence of any kind against our employees and property will not be tolerated", the statement continued. "We are thankful for the quick and fearless action by the Tacoma Police Department, which prevented innocent lives from being endangered".
"Our facilities have never been overcrowded, nor have they ever housed unaccompanied minors", the statement said, adding that the company's facilities "offer modern amenities" such as air conditioning, recreational activities, medical care and legal services.
PHOTO:Police kill man allegedly attacking North West Detention Center.