King County Sheriff’s Deputy Fatally Shoots Suspect in Kent

The incident occurred after a suspect in a stolen car allegedly reached for a rifle.

A King County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a suspect during an altercation in a parking garage at Kent Station on Thursday morning.

According to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Sgt. Ryan Abbott, the deputy was on a routine patrol at Kent Station and was running license plates of cars parked in the parking garage at 1st Avenue N and W Temperance Street when he came across an occupied Honda Civic on the first floor of the parking garage with a driver and passenger. When the deputy ran the plates, the vehicle came up as stolen.

When he approached the vehicle on the driver’s side, the 18-year-old driver allegedly reached for an AR-15 rifle in the vehicle and the deputy shot him. (Abbot did not provide any details about number of shots that the deputy fired.) The injured suspect was treated by medics on scene and then transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He eventually died at around 10 a.m.

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect had this AR-15 rifle in his possession at the time of the shooting. The loaded magazine that was inserted into the rifle at the time of the shooting. Photo courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office

According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect had this AR-15 rifle in his possession at the time of the shooting. The loaded magazine that was inserted into the rifle at the time of the shooting. Photo courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office

After the shooting, Abbott says the passenger and another “somewhat associated” individual near the vehicle both ran. Both suspects—ages 18 and 21—were pursued and apprehended. They have been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and were booked into the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The deputy, a 28-year veteran of the department, was not injured during the altercation and was not wearing a body camera. (No King County Sheriff’s deputies are equipped with body cameras.) The deputy has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately while the Sheriff’s Office conducts an internal review. County detectives, representatives from the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight (the Sheriff’s Office’s official watchdog), and other investigators are on site.

A witness on the scene (who declined to be named), says he heard a single gunshot at around 8:40 a.m. while he was across the street from the parking garage and called 911. “One gun shot. That’s all it was,” the witness said. “Oh boy, it was terrifying.”

After assisting police officers track down the two other suspects—who fled the scene past the witness—he walked into the parking garage (before officers had secured the scene) and saw a body lying on the ground underneath a truck. “I walked in there and looked at the guy laying underneath the truck,” he said. “I don’t know if he was dead or not.”

Update (July 26 at 2:10 p.m.): The story has been updated to include details about the suspect’s rifle and photos from the scene.

jkelety@seattleweekly.com

The scene of the shooting. Photo courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office

The scene of the shooting. Photo courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office

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