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Suspected shoplifter dies in Federal Way police shooting | UPDATE
UPDATE: A suspected shoplifter who died in a Federal Way police shooting has been identified as 29-year-old Jedidiah J. Waters, according to a report in the Seattle Times.
Federal Way police were involved in a fatal shooting July 21 at Wal-Mart, located in the 1900 block of South 314th Street.
Police were called to the store at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday to respond to a man suspected of shoplifting. The suspect was observed walking through the store and hiding electronic accessories on his person, according to a press release issued Friday from Kent police, which is in charge of the investigation at this time.
Police waited for the suspected thief to come out of the store before attempting to apprehend him. After about half an hour, the suspect exited the store, according to Kent police spokesperson Pat Lowery. Two Federal Way officers approached the man, who then began running, with the two officers giving chase. The two officers pursued the suspect about 40 yards before he stopped and turned.
According to Lowery, the man appeared to be reaching toward an ankle holster after he stopped.
“The officers observed a gun in that holster, and proceeded to fire several shots, striking the male,” Lowery said. He also noted that only one of the Federal Way officers opened fire.
The officer under investigation, an eight-year veteran of the Federal Way Police Department, fired 11 times during the incident, according to Lowery.
Medic crews attempted to revive the man on the scene, but were unable to do so.
Investigators confirmed that the man was armed during the incident.
Patrons of the Wal-Mart were unable to leave for some time, as much of the parking lot was cordoned off as part of the crime scene. As of Friday morning, many of the vehicles that were present during the shooting were still parked in the Wal-Mart lot.
The Federal Way officer has been placed on immediate leave, a standard procedure with officer-involved shootings. The deceased suspect “was 28, and had been living in short-stay motels in Federal Way,” according to Kent police.
Kent police will be conducting interviews and reviewing surveillance footage from the Wal-Mart store over the weekend.
The officer involved with the shooting has not yet been identified.