CLEARVIEW — Police from King County shot a man accused of murder Monday afternoon, when the suspect used a car to ram an unmarked police vehicle in a Safeway parking lot south of Snohomish, authorities said.
The wounded man was expected to survive.
Members of the Valley SWAT team, based in King County, had been keeping the homicide suspect under surveillance Monday at a nearby home, and followed him in an unmarked vehicle as he went into a business in the 17500 block of Highway 9, police said.
As he walked back to his car around 2:40 p.m., officers drove up behind him and ordered the suspect to surrender, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe wrote in a press release Monday night.
Instead, O’Keefe wrote, the suspect rammed a bystander’s vehicle, then reversed into the unmarked police vehicle multiple times. Three members of the SWAT team — two from the Kent Police Department, one from the Federal Way Police Department — opened fire, striking the suspect.
Deputies responded to reports of “multiple shots fired,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office tweeted minutes later.
Erika Davis, of Clearview, said she was walking out of the Safeway with her daughter when she heard a car crash.
A black pickup truck pulled up behind two cars that had collided, she said.
Men holding assault rifles got out of the pickup. According to Davis, one of those men shouted, “Get down, mother-(expletive)!”
“I saw the bullets fly out of the gun,” Davis said.
Davis saw one injured man carried away on a gurney, face down, with his shirt off. That man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to police. A hospital spokesperson said the wounded man was in satisfactory condition as of Monday evening.
A passenger in the car was detained but later released, O’Keefe wrote. A child in the backseat was released to a parent.
Police did not immediately say if the man or anyone else in the car had been armed with a weapon. Authorities also did not immediately say what crime the suspect was wanted for.
A large police presence remained in the parking lot for hours. Among the vehicles was a black extended-cab pickup, behind yellow caution tape, with faint yellow markings saying “KENT POLICE” on the tailgate and cab doors.
The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team arrived in the parking lot Monday afternoon. The team, better known as SMART, is a task force of local detectives assigned to investigate law officers’ use of force.
Herald reporter Jake Goldstein-Street contributed to this report.
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @reporterellen