Missing woman leads Kent police on deadly chase

Herald staff

KENT — Police shot and killed a 27-year-old Kent woman Thursday after a high-speed chase.

The chase started after an officer approached the woman and asked her for identification as she sat in her car about 3 p.m. at Russell Road Park, Kent police spokesman Paul Petersen said. The officer discovered she had been listed as missing for two days. The woman then drove off, almost running over the officer, Petersen said.

Police chased the woman down Kent-Des Moines Road at speeds of more than 70 mph as she weaved in and out of traffic, Petersen said.

Officers eventually boxed her in on Kent-Des Moines Road, where two officers confronted her. The woman got out of her car with a gun, aiming it at the officers and at others in the vehicles around her, Petersen said.

The two officers shot her. Petersen said he doesn’t know whether the woman fired first.

The woman died on the way to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The Auburn Police Department was investigating.

  • ????Irregularities prompt Clallam County ballot recount: Clallam County’s recount Thursday of all its ballots from Tuesday’s election did not significantly change any results, a county official says. The recount, prompted by a possible problem with a ballot-reading machine, showed a few different numbers but no major changes, acting county auditor Kathy Henderson said. David Brine, spokesman for the secretary of state, said it appeared that one machine may not have read all the ballots or may not have read them completely. County elections coordinator Patty Rosand said the recount was ordered after the secretary of state’s office noticed that Clallam County seemed to have twice the state average of "fallouts," or ballots with only one race selected and the rest unmarked.

  • Woman escapes from Pierce County jail: A woman who was weeks away from release escaped out an unlocked door at a low-security, temporary Pierce County jail. Tabitha Ledesma, 29, was being held for theft and burglary. She and another prisoner slipped out the door and scaled a 12-foot-high chain-link fence with barbed wire at the top. The other prisoner, a 39-year-old woman, fell, striking her head, and was hospitalized Thursday, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. Ledesma took off her shirt and used it as protection against the barbed wire,Troyer said. Police weren’t looking too hard for her, he said. "She’s not a danger to society, just to herself," he said. "She’s going to end up having 10 times the amount of time to serve."

  • Fiery Highway 18 crash victims identified: The King County medical examiner has identified three people killed in a fiery, head-on tractor-trailer crash on Highway 18. They are Terence Prausa, 51, of Graham, and Jessica Brogger, 21, and William Mauldin Jr., 25, of Cameron, Texas. Prausa was driving one of the rigs east Sunday when he pulled into the westbound lane. He signaled to change lanes and possibly believed both lanes were moving in the same direction, the State Patrol said. Prausa’s tractor-trailer slammed into the second rig. Mauldin was driving; Brogger was a passenger. A fire erupted, damaging an overpass where the accident occurred. Supports erected for an overpass widening project were so badly damaged they had to be removed, and the underside of the overpass was also damaged.

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