An undercover police sting to catch men selling illegal guns reportedly went sideways Friday evening in Kent and led to the shooting of one man and a second man getting hit by a vehicle.
An undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) met two men in a vehicle just before 5 p.m. in the Lowe’s parking lot at the southeast corner of Pacific Highway South and South 240th Street.
“An undercover officer was purchasing firearms from the suspects, the suspects attempted to rob the undercover agent when the deal was going down and a shooting ensued,” said Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas during a press conference across the street from Lowe’s. “The driver of the suspect vehicle was hit and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries. The passenger took off running with a gun and ran out onto Pacific Highway South and was hit by a car. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”
The ATF agent fired shots that hit the driver of the suspect vehicle. Thomas said he didn’t know how many shots were fired or if the men had ties to any gangs. Kent Police assisted with the undercover operation and have an officer who serves on the ATF task force, Thomas said.
Police temporarily shut down all northbound lanes of Pacific Highway South in front of the Lowe’s store at about 5:03 p.m. Police set up a command post in the store parking lot and detectives were called to the incident.
Officers confiscated at least two weapons, Thomas said. As of early Friday evening, police were still waiting for search warrants to search the suspect vehicle.