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Investigation continues after Federal Way officer kills suspected shoplifter

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on July 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
July 22, 2011 3:31 pm

The Kent Police Department released new details today about a deadly officer-involved shooting Thursday evening in a Walmart parking lot in Federal Way.

A Federal Way officer shot and killed a suspected shoplifter in the parking lot after the man reportedly reached for a gun on his ankle. Kent police have been asked to investigate.

Investigators said the suspected shoplifter was 28 and had been living in short-stay motels in the Federal Way area, a press release states. His name has not yet been released.

Security officers inside Walmart, 1900 S. 314th St., spotted the man about 5:30 p.m. Thursday. They watched as he walked through the store, hiding electronic accessories in his clothes for about 40 minutes, the press release states.

Security officers confronted the man when he tried to leave the store without paying for the items. The man bolted through the front door and into the parking lot, where Federal Way police officers had been set up.

Officers chased the man about 40 yards.

“As officers closed their distance on the suspect, the suspect stopped suddenly, spinning toward the officers while reaching for a handgun located at his ankle,” the press release states. “The lead officer recognized the threat and discharged his service weapon.”

The officer fired 11 times, Kent police Lt. Pat Lowery said. The man was hit and died at the scene. Investigators recovered a loaded handgun from the man.

Kent police detectives were reviewing surveillance video from inside and outside the store, interviewing witnesses and examining evidence from the shooting.

The Federal Way officer, an eight-year veteran, had been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The officer’s name has not been released.

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