Acting police chief put on leave; Brame shows some improvement

Repercussions continue in the wake of last Saturday’s suicide by Tacoma Police Chief David Brame at a Gig Harbor shopping mall after shooting his estranged wife, Crystal, in the head.

City Manager Ray Corpuz Thursday night placed acting Chief Catherine Woodard – appointed by him in the hours following the shootings – on paid administrative leave while outside agencies investigate the city’s handling of the situation, including Chief Brame’s hiring and promotion through the ranks.

Seeking to avoid even the appearance of bias into the investigation of the shootings, a statement released Thursday evening by Corpuz said: “Due to information accumulated and assessed since that time, I have determined that Assistant Chief Woodard should no longer remain as acting chief during this interim period, and that she should not participate in any way in the management and operation of the police department throughout the course of the investigation.”

Corpuz has appointed Don Ramsdell as interim acting chief of police until someone outside the department is found to run the agency on a temporary basis.

In some good news, Crystal Brame showed some signs of improvement Thursday, but remained in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a gunshot wound to her head.

It was reported that Crystal Brame was able to squeeze the hands of her mother and doctor upon request, and briefly opened her right eye
Also Thursday, some 911 tapes of the incident were released to the public, as well as a 911 call made by Crystal Brame three weeks ago to report an alleged incident of domestic abuse by her husband.