High-speed chase ends in Mukilteo with shots fired

MUKILTEO — A high-speed chase ended here Sunday with the driver being hit by police bullets.

The man, 34, was wanted in connection with a double shooting in Camano Island, said Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh, a spokesman for the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team, which investigates police shootings.

The pursuit started just after 3:30 p.m. and hit sustained speeds of 110 mph south on I-5.

Along the way, Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers tried to stop the driver with spike strips, which he repeatedly evaded. Although traffic was light and the roadway dry, the fleeing driver reportedly was passing on the shoulder and making wild lane changes.

At some point the man reportedly was on the phone with police dispatchers, who said he’d shot somebody in the head, and that he wasn’t going to stop.

Witnesses on Camano Island called 911 to report the shootings around 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said.

They were able to give a description of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving.

The shootings occurred off Michelle Drive. A man, 44, was shot in the head and neck area and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The woman, whose age also wasn’t immediately available, was shot in the arm and taken by ambulance to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon.

Island County detectives remained on the shooting scene well into the night Sunday. They were still trying to unravel the motive for the shootings.

“We are trying to put it all together now,” Brown said around 8:30 p.m.

The fleeing man began to run out of room when he headed into Everett, and more officers joined in the pursuit. The procession of lights and sirens headed west on Highway 526 and into Mukilteo.

The chase ended at 88th Street SW and 53rd Avenue W., after a police officer used his patrol car to deliberately bump the suspect’s car, causing it to spin out and stall.

A few seconds later, there were reports of shots fired, then that the suspect was at gunpoint, then more shots fired.

The suspect was taken into custody and rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. No law officers were injured.

Eyewitnesses in the neighborhood described the chaos.

Steve Schmalz, who lives on 53rd Avenue, said he came outside when he heard sirens and saw the suspect’s car race up the street.

“The police were right behind him,” Schmalz said.

The Toyota ran off the road at 88th Street, and several shots were fired.

“I heard something really loud. I didn’t know it was gunshots,” said Ray Shirley, who lives on that corner.

Shirley came outside in time to see police, including a police dog and handler, swarming over a man on the ground.

Marsh said that one Everett police officer, one state trooper and two Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies were involved in the shooting.

The Everett officer has been with agency for 17 years. The trooper has been with Washington State Patrol for two and half years. One of the deputies has been with the sheriff’s office for 21 years, the other 16.

In keeping with standard practice, all of the officers and deputies have been placed on administrative leave.

The Snohomish County Scanner website recorded police radio traffic during the pursuit. You can listen to it here: http://bit.ly/1f4Z0Es

The SMART team combines detectives from around the county. The team investigates cases where officers use potentially fatal force.

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