The incident unfolded at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when two men walked into a convenience store in the 7200 block of McKinley Avenue, said Loretta Cool of the Tacoma police.
The two were confronted by a clerk as they tried to take some beer without paying. They then punched the clerk and ran out the door with the beer, but left much of it in the parking lot as they jumped into a car, Cool said
As the car sped away, apparently driven by a third man, it ended up heading east on 64th Street, where the driver lost control of the car near Portland Avenue and veered off the roadway.
Two men were ejected from the car and died at the scene. The third man, who was driving, jumped out of the car and ran. He was later tracked down in a neighbor's backyard, taken to Good Samaritan Hospital to be checked out and then arrested, said an officer at the scene.
A homeowner who lives at the crash scene says the car took out a chain link fence and uprooted a tree when it crashed. The homeowner says one of the men was ejected with such force that his body slammed into the side of his house with a thud, denting the exterior wall and leaving bloodstains. The other man landed in a dirt field about 50 feet away, he said.
There were conflicting reports on whether police were pursuing the car at the time. Cool said there was no pursuit, but the homeowner said he heard sirens and officers were on his front porch telling him not to come out, within seconds after he heard the body hit.
Cool says the clerk suffered a minor injury in the confrontation with the two men.