Armed robbers led Kent Police Officers on a wild pursuit Wednesday morning (Jan. 23), starting at an ARCO Gas Station located at 1809 W. Meeker Street (map below) and ending in a residential area after a suspect vehicle crashed into a tree and a shot was fired.

Police say that just prior to 2 a.m., Deputies were dispatched to an armed robbery in progress at the ARCO station. Two males armed with handguns wearing masks robbed the clerk of money and merchandise.

A witness reported that the suspects got into a red sedan to leave the area westbound on W. Meeker Street. Kent officers received information that there may have been a third suspect in the vehicle, but that has not been confirmed at this point.

A Kent Officer located a red sedan leaving the area at a high rate of speed with a driver and passenger matching the description of the robbery suspects. The Officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspects accelerated and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit ended when the suspects drove into a residential neighborhood and crashed into a tree. The suspects began to flee on foot and during this time the officer fired one shot at one of the suspects. The suspect was not hit, but immediately stopped and surrendered. The other suspect continued to run away. Responding officers were able to take the one suspect into custody without further incident. Other responding officers, including Federal Way Officers setup a perimeter and conducted a K9 track for the second observed suspect, but were not successful in locating him.

The 21 year veteran officer was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

Police have provided video of the robbery recovered from the gas station, and although the suspects were wearing masks, they are hoping someone may be able to provide information as to their identity:

Detectives are also investigating the possible connection to other recent robberies in the area and surrounding jurisdictions.

“The video from the gas station clearly shows that robbery suspects in this incident had little regard for the lives of the store clerk and any potential bystanders as they brazenly pointed their guns to intimidate and threaten.” said Chief Rafael Padilla. “I’m relieved that no one was injured or killed in this incident and that our officer took the necessary action to get these dangerous criminals into custody.”

Police Chief Padilla has enlisted the assistance of the Valley Investigation Team (VIT) to conduct and independent investigation of the officer involved shooting.

Scott Schaefer

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