A car jacking suspect was killed during a police shootout on 6 December in northern Seattle following a wild police chase in three neighbourhoods. Seattle Police Department said they initially received a report of an armed robbery at a downtown coffee shop around 12.30pm PT (8.30pm GMT), followed by another report of the armed suspect at a tattoo parlor.
According to KOMO News, the unnamed suspect then stole a red Volkswagen at gunpoint, drove the vehicle to the Montlake neighbourhood, where he proceeded to steal another vehicle. Police said officers pursued the suspect in Montlake after he opened fire and drove to Ravenna neighbourhood.
The suspect again shot at police in Wedgwood neighbourhood, where he was fatally shot by officers. Seattle Police Department Chief Kathleen O'Toole told reporters that up to 11 officers were believed to have exchanged shots with the suspect in two different locations during the police chase. Police originally stated they had apprehended the suspect in Wedgwood, but later revealed that the suspect died during the shootout.
KOMO News reported that a police patrol car sustained damage during a PIT (precision immobilisation technique) maneuver in an attempt to stop the suspect. Police are investigating several other vehicle accidents that resulted in minor injuries during the pursuit. According to The Seattle Times, one accident involved two police cruisers.
The police pursuit lasted over 40 minutes and also resulted in two police officers sustaining non-life threatening injuries. O'Toole said the officers were taken to Haborview Medical Center for evaluation. The suspect was not named but was described as a white male in his 30s, who was last seen driving a black Camaro before the chase ended.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray spoke to reporters and called on the US to "step up" gun laws following the car jacking and eventually shootout. The police department's Force Investigation Team is reviewing the incident and all the officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave.