Thurston County Coroner Turns to Canada to ID Man Fatally Shot After Carjacking Semi on I-5


A man who carjacked a semi then crashed it on I-5 in Lacey and was eventually shot to death by Washington State troopers has finally been identified, the Thurston County Coroner said Tuesday. 

Neil Alexander Costin, 32, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, died Nov. 18 after he refused to exit the truck and created a standoff with law enforcement, according to officers. 

When he finally emerged from the truck, he held a box knife, charged at law enforcement and was shot multiple times, law enforcement says. He died at the scene.

Two Washington State Patrol troopers have been put on leave as a result, according to the Mason County and Lewis County Sheriff’s Offices, both of which are investigating the incident. 

It took about 10 days to identify the man. Working with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said Tuesday that he sent the man’s fingerprints to the FBI, who said Costin had been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Nov. 15.

Costin had been at a logging camp just south of the Canadian border when he was allegedly seen breaking into heavy equipment. A logger in the area dropped the man off in Sumas, Washington, where he gave border patrol agents a fake name and told them he was a U.S. citizen. He had no identification on him, Warnock said. 

Costin was fingerprinted, cited for possession of a controlled substance and released by the border patrol agents, Warnock said.

Warnock tried to match the fake name to a date of birth he had and got no matches in the U.S. He then contacted a Royal Canadian Mounted Police office in British Columbia, sending a photo of Costin and his fingerprints.

They identified him on Monday, Warnock said.