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A sheriff's deputy in Washington shot and killed a suspect after he stole the deputy's car Getty Images

A sheriff's deputy in Washington state shot and killed a man after the suspect punched the deputy and attempted to steal his patrol car. The Thurston County Sheriff's Office said the incident occurred around 4.15pm PST (12.15am GMT) on 5 January.

Authorities said the deputy was responding to an incident near 93rd Avenue Southeast and Tilley Road Southwest in Tumwater, just south of the Olympia airport. According to the NBC affiliate King5, the deputy saw an individual who was trespassing on private property run into the woods. The deputy, who was not identified, pulled over to question the suspect.

As he began to question the man, the suspect started punching the deputy, jumped into the patrol car and began to drive away. The deputy allegedly jumped on the running board of the squad SUV and held on as the suspect attempted to get away. Then the suspect rammed into another car, which had people in it, giving the deputy an opportunity to open fire, Q13 Fox reported.

The sheriff's office said that the deputy opened fire and killed the suspect. A spokesman said the deputy was not injured and that the people in the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries. The unnamed suspect appeared to be in his mid to late 20s, the spokesman told reporters.

No additional information was available.