Police chase ends in gunfire

Four police officers have been taken off active duty and an investigation is underway following an automobile chase and shooting in Federal Way that left two people injured early Friday morning.

The incident began at 12:15 a.m. when police officers from Des Moines and Kent reported seeing an automobile containing a suspect wanted on a drug-related felony warrant. The officers stopped the vehicle, but its driver sped away, dragging a Des Moines officer a short distance, police said.

The ensuing chase, which was joined by Federal Way Police officers, began in the area of South 240th Street and Pacific Highway South and ended when the suspect vehicle spun out and stopped at the intersection of Southwest 349th and 21st Avenue Southwest in Federal Way.

According to police, the vehicle accelerated toward officers as they approached it. The officers fired, wounding the car’s driver and passenger. They were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and were reported in satisfactory condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

The names of the car’s occupants weren’t released, but police said the driver was a 38-year-old African-American male with a last known address in Federal Way. He has a suspended driver’s license and a felony warrant for a drug offense, which authorities didn’t specify.

The passenger was a 32-year-old white female, possibly of Bothell.

Two Federal Way Police officers and two officers from the Kent Police have been placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure following a police shooting, officials said. Their names weren’t released.

A joint investigation is being led by the Renton Police Department and includes the Federal Way, Kent and Des Moines departments. More than 30 officers are assigned to the probe.

Cmdr. Stan McCall of the Federal Way Police said it’s common for an outside police agency to head an investigation of shootings by other police departments. “It avoids the appearance of impropriety,” he said.

McCall said shooting investigations can be complex and lengthy. “A level of manpower is needed to cover all the bases and make sure no stone is unturned,” he said. “We value the public’s trust.”

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