On Wednesday night, Nov. 8, 2023, starting at about 6:33 p.m., Kent Police Officers and Valley SWAT spent five hours negotiating with an armed male near the Hollywood Nails Salon in the 25600 block of 104th Ave SE on Kent’s East Hill (map below) before de-escalating and arresting an armed male suspect.
Initial 911 callers indicated that an armed man was seen in the parking lot, waving a gun around and trying to get into the salon. Another 911 caller also reported that they heard gunshots being fired.
Police said that Officers arrived within a minute and located the male in front of the Subway next door to the salon. The male had a visible handgun in his front waistband. Concerned for the safety of bystanders and the male, officers did their best to de-escalate the situation and get the male to surrender.
At the same time, officers positioned themselves in an effort to contain the armed male from heading towards other people.
Simultaneously, Valley Communications 911 dispatchers communicated with the employees who had barricaded inside their businesses. The dispatcher advised them to remain inside, get to the back of their business and stay down. Through this communication, officers learned that the male had pointed his gun at a subway employee prior to officers arriving. They also received information that the male was likely high on methamphetamine.
The male continued to refuse to surrender to officers. They deployed less lethal munitions, including rubber batons and pepper balls. The less lethal tools did not affect the male and he continued to refuse to comply with orders from the officers.
Additional resources were called into the situation to assist, including Valley SWAT personnel and negotiators. Once additional resources arrived, officers worked to rescue the employees trapped in their businesses and escorted them to safety.
Negotiations continued for several hours, before the male finally surrendered and was taken into custody without the need to use deadly force.
The incident took nearly five hours to safely resolve.
The male, a 25-year-old Kent resident, was arrested for felony assault with a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm. Kent Detectives will be completing the investigation and referring the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution.
Despite having to endure hours of being barricaded in their businesses, none of the employees were physically injured as a result of the males’ actions.
“Successful de-escalation of dangerous individuals is not always possible,” said Chief Rafael Padilla. “The outcome of these potentially lethal encounters is always dictated by the actions of the individual the officers are trying to manage. In this situation, thanks to our highly trained officers (including officers from other jurisdictions), dispatchers, VSWAT members and negotiators, we were able to take the male into custody without needing to use deadly force. I could not be prouder of our people or more thankful for the outcome.”