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The Downtown Seattle Shootout
Three police officers wounded,
one robbery suspect dead

April 21, 2017

Photos, screenshots from ABC World News Tonight broadcast 4/20/17
Chronicle staff

(SEATTLE, WA.) -- It doesn't get much more dangerous for a police officer than what happened in downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon.

An armed robbery. Bullets flying between suspect and police. Violence in motion, conditions changing rapidly.

Seattle Police say three officers were injured Thursday in downtown Seattle in "an exchange of gunfire with a robbery suspect, who was found dead following the incident." Two other suspects are now in custody.

At 1:18 pm yesterday, Seattle police officers were called to a robbery at a convenience store in the 600 block of 1st Avenue.

Two suspects — a 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man armed with a handgun —robbed the store and then ran north on 1st Avenue, according to an SPD police statement issued just after 8 pm Thursday night.

"Officers caught up to the suspects within minutes. A struggle ensued and a male officer was struck in the head with a bottle," according to the statement.

Broadcast reports said the officer was hit in the head with a bottle by the teenage girl suspect as he was struggling on the ground with the 19-year old man.

"The male suspect ran to the entryway of an office building in the 900 block of 1st Avenue, where he exchanged gunfire with police. Three officers were struck by gunfire during the incident."

SPD officers moved the injured officers to safety and then set up a perimeter around the building as employees inside were ordered to shelter-in-place.

After clearing pedestrians and motorists from the surrounding streets, SWAT officers went inside the building to search for the suspect and any other injured people. During the search, officers found the 19-year old male suspect who was deceased.

"Police arrested the 17-year-old female suspect near the building and, after receiving conflicting information, identified a second 19-year-old male involved in the robbery. Police located and arrested the man around 6 pm," said the SPD statement which noted that while the department can confirm that officers did fire their weapons during the incident, "the cause of the male suspect’s death will be determined and released by the King County Medical Examiner."

The statement leaves open the possibility the suspect may have taken his own life or died from some other cause.

A male officer and a female officer shot during the incident — who are two and three-year veterans of the department — were rushed to Harborview Medical Center where the male officer was initially listed as being in critical condition, but was upgraded to serious-but-stable after receiving treatment. The female officer was listed as being in satisfactory condition.

A second male officer, a 27-year veteran of the department, sustained a hand injury and was treated and released from the hospital. The third male officer, who was hit with a bottle during a struggle with the suspects was treated at the scene.

In accordance with SPD policy, designed in collaboration with the Department of Justice, detectives from the Force Investigation Team and Crime Scene Investigators responded to the scene with representatives from the Office of Professional Accountability to collect evidence and review the incident.

SPD violent crimes detectives are also separately investigating the convenience store robbery and assault on officers.

The officers who discharged their weapons during the incident will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation as is standard protocol.

Police are seeking any additional photographs or video from the scene and have asked that anyone who has images of the incident to contact the SPD Homicide/Assault Unit at (206) 684-5550.



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