The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information on the officer-involved shooting in South Thurston County that ended with one suspect dead and another injured on Monday.
Three deputies with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, one officer with the Centralia Police Department and one officer with the Chehalis Police Department were placed on administrative leave for discharging their weapons during the incident.
No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.
The incident began when a citizen called 911 at 11:38 a.m. on Nov. 14 to report “a suspicious vehicle” at the Chevron gas station located at 1366 Rush Road in Napavine, according to a news release from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, which is the lead agency in the investigation.
Dispatch sent an officer with the Napavine Police Department, which ran the suspicious vehicle’s registration and learned the vehicle was stolen in an armed carjacking out of Oregon, according to the news release. The Napavine officer requested an additional unit to his location, prompting a deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office to respond.
Once the deputy caught up with the Napavine officer, they attempted to stop the suspicious vehicle at milepost 81 on Interstate 5. The suspect vehicle failed to yield and fled at a high rate of speed northbound on I-5, according to the news release.
“As the officers pursued the vehicle, the suspects fired a gun at the officers and a patrol vehicle was struck,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers utilized spike strips on the suspect vehicle, which continued traveling northbound on I-5. The suspect vehicle exited I-5 at exit 88 and stopped at the top of the exit near the overpass. The suspects then allegedly exited the disabled stolen vehicle and attempted to carjack another vehicle waiting at the traffic light at the location.
One of the suspects shot the driver of the vehicle they were trying to carjack, according to the news release. “The victim did not exit his vehicle and sped off to get away from the suspects,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, which reported the victim was shot in the arm. The victim drove down the road to a safe location, where an officer with the Centralia Police Department and a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputy contacted him and rendered first aid. The victim was eventually transported to a nearby hospital, per the news release.
The suspects then carjacked a Toyota pick-up from the overpass location.
“During the car jackings, several shots were fired at this location by several law enforcement officers and the suspects,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspects then reportedly fled eastbound on Old Highway 99 in the stolen Toyota truck.
Near the intersection of Old Highway 99 and Violet Prairie Road, the stolen Toyota stopped in the roadway and one suspect exited from the bed of the truck and surrendered, according to the news release.
“The suspect had injuries from multiple gunshot wounds and was eventually taken into custody,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office. Officers did render aid to the suspect and he was transported to the hospital for treatment, per the sheriff’s office.
When he is released from the hospital, the suspect will be booked into jail on numerous charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
The other suspect reportedly drove down the road about 50 feet and got out of the stolen vehicle “in a confrontational manner and verbally challenged the law enforcement officers,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
“Officers gave the suspect verbal commands, which he ignored. The suspect pointed a handgun at the officers which resulted in two officers firing at the suspect,” per the sheriff’s office.
The suspect was reportedly struck “multiple times” and fell to the ground, per the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officers rendered aid to the suspect, but the suspect “was fatally struck and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” per the sheriff’s office.
The Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team continues to investigate the incident, with the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office serving as the lead investigating agency. The Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will be reviewing the case and prosecuting all criminal charges that result from the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Per standard procedure, law enforcement officers who discharged their weapons at both shooting scenes were placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated,” according to the sheriff’s office.