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Federal Way police officer shoots gun-wielding suspect in Kent
A late night officer-involved shooting in Kent ended in the injury of a suspect and one Federal Way police officer put on administrative leave.
The shooting took place just before midnight Wednesday at Kent's Woodmont Shopping Plaza, at Pacific Highway South and South 260th Street. The 20-year-old Federal Way suspect was shot multiple times when he brandished a gun and pointed it at an officer, Kent police spokesman Lt. Patrick Lowery said. He survived the shooting and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The Kent police department is investigating.
"The good news is everybody survived," Kent spokesman Lt. Patrick Lowery said.
Federal Way police originally responded to a disturbance call placed by a resident at the Club Palisades Apartments, 2211 S. Star Lake Road, around 11:45 p.m. The call concerned a man heard banging loudly on a woman's apartment door. The man was subject to a restraining order placed by the woman residing in the apartment. He fled when police arrived on scene, Lowery said. The Federal Way Police Department did not pursue the suspect, due in part to a hail storm taking place at the time, he said.
Officers took note of the direction in which the suspect's vehicle travelled and instead brought a number of officers into the area to watch for the man. At 11:55 p.m., a lone officer saw a vehicle matching the suspect's vehicle, roughly one mile away at the Kent shopping center.
The Federal Way officer ordered the suspect to stop. At that time, the suspect turned, raised a gun and pointed it at the officer, Lowery said. The officer fired multiple shots striking the suspect. The suspect was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital.
The suspect's identity has not been released. He is "well known to Federal Way police," Lowery said. The nature of the Federal Way Police Department's prior contact with the suspect is not known at this time.
The officer's identity is also not being released at this time. The male officer is a 15-year law enforcement veteran, Lowery said. The Federal Way officer is on paid administrative leave, as is standard procedure, while the Kent police investigate the shooting and the circumstances that led up to it, he said. No other officers, from Kent or Federal Way, were involved in the shooting, Lowery said.
Once Kent finishes its investigation, it will turn the gathered information over to Federal Way police. The department will then decide if the shooting was within the department's guidelines.
Within Washington state, police act under the Washington Mutual Aid Peace Officers Powers Act. This permits law enforcement officers to move and make arrests and contacts outside their traditional jurisdiction, especially when in pursuit of a criminal suspect.
The police-involved shooting is not the first this year in Federal Way. The last incident, prior to Wednesday, involved 23-year-old David Young. Police suspected Young was driving a stolen vehicle Aug. 31 when they attempted to stop the truck.
Young crashed into property along South 360th Street and 22nd Avenue South. When an officer approached, Young allegedly drove toward the officer, who fired shots. Young later died of his injuries.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney's office ordered an inquest into the officer-involved shooting in early Oct. Inquests are fact-finding hearings conducted before a six-member jury. They are routinely called as a means to determine the causes and circumstances of a death involving a law enforcement agency or officer on duty. Inquests permit public access to the facts established in a court of law.
In late March, police responded to a suspicious vehicle call. The vehicle was determined to be stolen and officers laid out a spike strip in the 33300 block of 26th Avenue Southwest. The vehicle was successfully blocked, but the driver would not obey police orders and rammed police cruisers.
Two Federal Way officers fired at the car. The driver was struck in the arm and taken to Harborview.