Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 50° Cloudy
News >  Washington

Kent police officer killed, another critically hurt during early morning pursuit

UPDATED: Sun., July 22, 2018, 1:37 p.m.

Washington State Patrol investigates the scene where a Kent police officer was killed while trying to put out a spike strip early Sunday, July 22, 2018. A police car struck the officer and a few civilian cars while chasing a pickup truck. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)
Washington State Patrol investigates the scene where a Kent police officer was killed while trying to put out a spike strip early Sunday, July 22, 2018. A police car struck the officer and a few civilian cars while chasing a pickup truck. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)
By Mike Carter Seattle Times

A Kent police officer was killed when he was struck by another officer during a chase early Sunday, police and the Washington State Patrol said.

Police and media reports said a preliminary investigation showed the officer was killed when he was struck by another Kent police officer chasing a pickup truck. The officer who was struck had apparently been deploying a strip of spikes across the roadway, intending to flatten the fleeing pickup truck’s tires. After the collision, the driver of the patrol vehicle that struck the officer went on to crash into three cars parked at a nearby in intersection and was seriously injured, said Kent Police Cmdr. Jarod Kasner in a news release.

The red pickup truck that officers were pursuing when a Kent police officer was killed sits flipped over near Highway 516 and 68th Avenue South. The officer was struck and killed while trying to put out a spike strip just north on Highway 516 / Kent Des Moines Road in the early morning Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)
The red pickup truck that officers were pursuing when a Kent police officer was killed sits flipped over near Highway 516 and 68th Avenue South. The officer was struck and killed while trying to put out a spike strip just north on Highway 516 / Kent Des Moines Road in the early morning Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)

“An officer deploying a spike strip for the pursuit was struck and killed, it appears at this point, by a pursuing officer,” said Washington State Patrol District Commander Ron Mead during a news conference Sunday.

The officers have not been identified.

Kent Police Cmdr. Jarod Kasner, his voice cracking at a televised news conference outside the police station, said officers had responded about 1:50 a.m. to a report of shots fired near Russell Road South and West Meeker Street, near a Shari’s restaurant. At the time the 911 call came in, a Kent police officer was also in the area and heard the gunfire. The officer witnessed a red pickup truck fleeing a parking lot as the witness described the suspect vehicle to dispatchers, he said.

Kasner said officers were in pursuit and that spike strips were deployed near Reith Road and Kent-Des Moines Road.

“One Kent Officer was struck and the pursuing officer was involved in a collision,” Kasner said in a news release.

The suspect vehicle, at least one tire flattened, continued east on Kent-Des Moines Road until it crashed and rolled onto its roof near Washington Avenue, he said. One person was arrested.

“It is directly because of this suspect or suspects’ actions that led to this officer’s death,” Mead said at the news conference. “While that vehicle may not have been the one that struck the officer, make no doubt about it that had it not been for their actions this officer would be alive right now.”

The officer who was struck by the vehicle died at the scene. The second officer was transported to Harborview Medical Center and is in satisfactory condition, Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Washington State Patrol is assisting with the accident investigation, while the Valley Investigation Team is conducting the criminal investigation, Kasner said. He said SR516 would be closed for several hours.

“This is a very sad day for law enforcement,” Mead told reporters. “Our hearts go out to the Kent Police Department.”

Washington State Patrol and other law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of Shari’s Cafe and Pies, where bullet casings, broken glass and other debris were left behind from an incident overnight. The scene is said to be connected to another active investigation about half a mile southwest on Meeker Street, where a Kent police officer was killed while trying to put out a spike strip Sunday, July 22, 2018. The officer was hit by a Kent police car and died at the scene. The officer who was driving the car is in critical condition. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)
Washington State Patrol and other law enforcement officers investigate the parking lot of Shari’s Cafe and Pies, where bullet casings, broken glass and other debris were left behind from an incident overnight. The scene is said to be connected to another active investigation about half a mile southwest on Meeker Street, where a Kent police officer was killed while trying to put out a spike strip Sunday, July 22, 2018. The officer was hit by a Kent police car and died at the scene. The officer who was driving the car is in critical condition. (Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times)

Detectives had marked off a number of shell casings located in the parking lot of the Shari’s restaurant. Kasner said anyone with information regarding the initial illegal firearm discharge or the accident to call the Kent Police Department tip line at (253) 856-5808.

State and local police went to the scene of the crash early Sunday morning to escort the officer’s body to the medical examiner’s office.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com