Posted on July 15, 2019

Antifa Activist Identified as Man Armed with Rifle Who Tried to Set Fire to ICE Center

Brian Min, PJ Media, July 14, 2019

Yesterday, a man armed with a rifle and Molotov cocktails at the ICE Tacoma Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., was killed by responding police officers, according to the authorities.

At around 4 a.m. on Saturday, the Washington State man threw “incendiary devices” at the ICE detention center and nearby cars, setting one on fire.

“The male attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set out buildings on fire,” a statement released by the Tacoma police department said. “The male continued throwing lit objects at the buildings and cars.”

Four officers arrived at the scene and were involved in the shooting. Police initially called out to the man and then shots were fired. It remains unclear who began firing first.


The man who attacked the ICE center has now been identified as 69-year-old Willem Van Spronsen of Vashon Island, Washington.

Willem Van Spronsen

Van Spronsen was described as “an anarchist and anti-fascist,” according to Deb Bartley, a friend of his for about 20 years.


Van Spronsen has had a history of violence against the police.

Last year, in a protest outside the same federal immigration detention center, Van Spronsen wrapped his arms around a police officer’s throat and shoulders in an attempt to free another protester.

Van Spronsen was found to have been armed with a collapsible baton and knife in his pocket, leading to criminal charges.


His manifesto has yet to be published publicly, but is assumed to expose his political ideology.

Antifa and members of antifa, as well as anarchist groups, praised Van Spronsen after knowing of his death.

Antifa Sacramento claimed, “RIP to Willem Van Spronsen / ‘May his memory be a blessing’ ‘Love to those still fighting.’”