A Kent Police officer fired his gun but apparently didn’t hit anyone as Kent and Des Moines police pursued and caught two alleged carjackers at about 11:18 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 near Pacific Highway South and South 224th Street.
Officers took a man and a woman into custody, according to a Kent Police statement. Police did not release the ages or hometowns of the pair.
Des Moines Police discovered a suspected stolen vehicle and placed tire deflation devices on the vehicle, but the suspects, a male driver and female passenger, fled. Officers did not pursue the vehicle as under state law a pursuit was not permitted, according to Kent Police.
Minutes later, the suspects attempted to carjack a vehicle at gunpoint. They were unsuccessful, got back into their original vehicle and continued to flee, driving on rims. Kent officers responded to assist Des Moines officers who were now in pursuit of the carjacking suspects after they displayed a gun
The pursuit continued until the suspect vehicle crashed. The two got out of the vehicle and were able to reportedly carjack another vehicle with officers still in pursuit, according to Kent Police.
The vehicle crashed in the area of South 224th Street and Pacific Highway South in Des Moines. The two left the vehicle and fled on foot toward another occupied car when a Kent officer intervened, firing his handgun, according to police.
It does not appear the officer hit anyone, police said. Officers took the man and woman into custody. They did not appear to have any injuries. Police reportedly found a handgun at the location where they arrested the pair.
During the pursuit, the suspects’ vehicle collided with a bystander vehicle, according to police. That collision is under investigation and reportedly the occupants didn’t suffer any injuries.
“We are incredibly fortunate that the suspects in this matter did not seriously injure or kill anyone,” Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla said. “I am thankful that our officers were able to intervene, and the dangerous suspects are in custody.”
While the suspects were not injured, Padilla has turned the incident over to the Valley Independent Investigation Team to conduct an investigation into the shooting that will not include anyone from the Kent Police Department. The officer who fired a weapon has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.