A 25-year-old Des Moines man died after his vehicle crashed into a tree early Saturday morning following a pursuit by Kent Police who wanted the man for reportedly robbing two convenience stores.
The store clerk stated that the suspect had been loitering in the store, and then approached the counter, pulled out a gun and demanded money. The suspect then fled the store when customers walked inside.
Responding officers noted that the description of the suspect was similar to the description of the suspect in a robbery that had occurred at another nearby convenience store about an hour earlier. During the first robbery, the suspect had demanded cigarettes and threatened the clerk with a handgun.
One responding officer located a suspicious vehicle rapidly leaving the area from a nearby parking lot. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the suspect fled and continued to elude the officer. A short time later, the suspect’s vehicle suddenly veered off the road and collided with a tree at a high speed. The force of the collision appears to have resulted in the man being ejected from his vehicle.
Arriving officers immediately provided life-saving efforts, which were continued until taken over by fire personnel. The man did not survive his injuries.
A handgun was located near the deceased male at the crash location, according to police. Initial review of the surveillance video from the first armed robbery indicates that the suspect in that robbery and the man who fled officers are the same person. It does not appear that any of the police vehicles made contact with the suspect’s vehicle during the pursuit.
Kent Police have called upon the King County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an independent investigation of the collision.