SEATTLE — A Redmond man allegedly fired at Washington State Patrol troopers more than 20 times during a high-speed chase over the weekend that wound its way from Everett to Redmond, according to court papers filed in King County.
The man, 45, was booked into the King County jail for investigation of first-degree assault and eluding police. On Monday, his bail was set at $500,000.
Troopers initially tried to stop him in a Ford Explorer around 11 p.m. Friday on southbound I-5 in Everett for speeding and an obscured license plate, according to court papers. He reportedly led troopers on a pursuit that reached speeds of around 100 mph. After several attempts, spike strips hit both of his front tires, but the vehicle kept going.
At one point during the chase, the suspect allegedly shot at a patrol car three times, striking the windshield once, near the rearview mirror. Troopers backed off and relied on an airplane to track the Ford. The suspect continued to shoot, court papers say.
“Ultimately the suspect could not keep his vehicle going as the front wheels were grinding down to the brakes,” a trooper wrote.
The suspect reportedly tried to make a turn at the intersection of Avondale Road NE and NE 116th Street in Redmond but instead hit a sidewalk and came to a stop. He ran into the woods, continuing to shoot at troopers, an arrest report says.
The ensuing standoff lasted for hours. Approximately 100 officers and three SWAT teams responded, trooper Heather Axtman said. They set up a perimeter around the suspect and locked down the surrounding residential area, telling people to stay in their homes. They relied on heat-sensing tracking from a King County helicopter to locate the suspect.
“At no point did any officer fire a shot,” Axtman said Saturday. “We knew where he was at. We didn’t back off, we just continued watching him without having to go engage, for the safety of officers, safety of the public and really the safety of the suspect.”
Around 4 a.m., one of the teams deployed a police dog, which successfully apprehended the suspect. A trooper noted the suspect was wearing a bulletproof vest.
On Saturday, Axtman said detectives were trying to figure out why the man would fire a gun at troopers. No new information on a possible motive has been released, and he did not appear to have a criminal history. Spokespeople were unable to confirm what type of gun the suspect had, or whether any firearms had been found.
The man will appear in court again on Wednesday.