3 Seattle officers shot; 1 suspect dead, 2 in custody
Authorities closed off several blocks while SWAT searched a building where the suspect had barricaded himself inside
By Lisa Baumann and Gene Johnson
SEATTLE — Three Seattle police officers were shot and injured during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect, who later died, after a robbery at a downtown convenience store.
Three people are suspected in the Thursday robbery at a 7-Eleven store near Pioneer Square, the city's oldest neighborhood, said Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best.
Officers chased two suspects, a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, who ran from the store, police said.
While one officer struggled with the male suspect on the ground, the girl struck the officer over the head with a bottle, police said. The 19-year-old then ran to the entryway of an office building where he shot at police, who returned fire, Best said.
Authorities closed off several downtown blocks throughout the afternoon as police cruisers flooded the area and SWAT officers searched a nearby federal building where the suspect had barricaded himself inside. The girl was arrested nearby.
Police said Thursday night that officers found the male suspect deceased.
It wasn't immediately clear if the man died from police gunfire. Police said his cause of death would be determined by the King County Medical Examiner.
A third suspect, another 19-year-old man was later identified and taken into custody.
One of the wounded officers, a 30-year-old man, was initially listed as critical with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the chin and ribcage. Harborview Medical Center officials upgraded his condition within a few hours to serious but stable. Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said the wounded officer was talking.
A 42-year-old female officer was listed in satisfactory condition at the same hospital. She was released Thursday night, after her ballistics vest stopped a bullet headed for her chest.
Their names haven't been released but police said the female officer has worked for the department for three years while the male officer has worked there for two years.
A second male officer, a 27-year veteran, sustained a hand injury in the shooting and was also treated and released from the hospital. The male officer struck with a bottle was treated at the scene.
"Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
Authorities are investigating and police said the officers who fired their guns would be placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice.
Cindi Raykovich, the co-owner of a running store in the area, described the scene from her business as it unfolded Thursday.
"We've got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us," she said. "They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there's a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back."
The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.
Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.
"Wow. This is real," he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.