Kent Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that killed a hit-and-run suspect early Monday morning.
At about midnight, Kent Police responded to assist Auburn Police, who were in pursuit of a hit-and-run suspect who was eluding and driving into the city of Kent, according to a Kent Police news release. Auburn Police 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, successfully stopping the vehicle in the 9500 block of Canyon Drive. 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, according to the news release. That officer responded to the threat by firing back and striking the suspect.
Kent officers 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 suspect has not been confirmed, but he is believed to be a 38-year-old Hispanic man.
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 said in the news release.
Kent Police are 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 into the shooting.