Early Monday morning (Jan. 7) at around midnight, a Kent Police Officer was involved in the fatal shooting of a 38-year old Hispanic male, who was a suspect in a hit and run in Auburn.
The shooting happened in the 9500 block of Canyon Drive.
Kent Police responded to assist Auburn Police, who were in pursuit of a hit and run suspect that was eluding and driving into the City of Kent. Auburn Deputies were successful in spiking at least one tire of the suspect’s vehicle, which significantly slowed the vehicle, but did not stop it.
Kent Officers located the vehicle and pursued it briefly before performing a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) successfully stopping the vehicle in the 9500 block of Canyon Drive (map below). As officers attempted to pin the vehicle in and contact the male suspect driver, the suspect fired at least one shot at a Kent Officer. That Officer responded to the deadly threat by firing back and striking the suspect.
Police promptly attempted life saving measures on the suspect, who survived initially, but later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead while being transported to the hospital. At this time, the identity of the lone suspect has not been confirmed, but he is believed to be a 38-year old Hispanic male.
No Kent Officers sustained injuries. The Officer involved is an eight year veteran. As is standard procedure, the involved officer has been placed on administrative leave.
“The deceased male in this incident chose to take deadly actions against our officer and forced him to take action to defend himself and his fellow officers.” Chief Rafael Padilla stated.
Kent Police are currently conducting a pilot program for Body Worn Cameras, in which 12 officers have been issued cameras. None of the involved officers are a part of the pilot and do not have cameras issued to them.
The Valley Investigative Team was called in to conduct a third party independent investigation.
Canyon Drive was closed for a while between 101st Ave SE and 94th Ave SE for the investigation, but was re-opened around 11:25 a.m.:
Traffic Alert Update: Canyon Dr is now Open
When: January 7, 2019
Duration: 11:25 a.m.
Contact: Public Works Operations
— City of Kent, WA (@cityofkent) January 7, 2019
— Evergreen Media Production (@EMP_newsmedia) January 7, 2019