On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, at about 11:19 a.m., a Kent Police Officer used his firearm in an effort to stop armed carjacking suspects on Pacific Highway South.
Des Moines officers had discovered a suspected stolen vehicle. They placed tire deflation devices on the vehicle, but the suspects fled.
Des Moines P.D. did not pursue the vehicle, as under state law, a pursuit of the vehicle was not permitted.
Minutes later, the suspects attempted to carjack another vehicle at gunpoint. The suspects 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.
The pursuit continued until the suspect crashed a second time. The suspects got out again and this time were able to successfully carjack a second vehicle at gunpoint. They fled in the newly carjacked vehicle with officers still in pursuit. The vehicle continued until crashing in the area of S. 224th and Pacific Highway South (map below).
The suspects got out of the second crashed vehicle and began to head towards another occupied car, when a Kent Officer intervened, firing his handgun.
Police say that at this time, it does not appear that the officer hit anyone.
The male driver and female passenger suspects were taken into custody and do not appear to have sustained significant injuries.
A handgun was found at the location where the suspects were taken into custody.
During a portion of the pursuit, the suspects collided with a bystander vehicle. That collision is being investigated and it does not appear that the bystanders were injured.
While the suspects were not injured, Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla has called upon the Valley Independent Investigation Team to conduct an independent investigation. The officer who fired a weapon has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.
“We are incredibly fortunate that the suspects in this matter did not seriously injure or kill anyone. I am thankful that our officers were able to intervene, and the dangerous suspects are in custody.” Padilla said.