A 17-year-old boy was shot in the head by a King County sheriff’s deputy Thursday evening after he allegedly tried to ram his car into an officer during a stolen-vehicle pursuit.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the head by a King County sheriff’s deputy Thursday evening after he allegedly tried to ram a car into an officer during a stolen-vehicle pursuit.
The teen was spotted in what King County sheriff’s deputies believe was a stolen vehicle on International Boulevard around 8:20 p.m., according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Stan Seo.
Two deputies in separate cars tried to pull the car over, but were unsuccessful, Seo said. The two patrol cars were able to surround the vehicle, and both deputies got out of their cars.
The teen shifted the vehicle into reverse, ramming a patrol car close to a deputy, Seo said. The other deputy then shot the teen twice, striking him in the head, Seo said.
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“The car was being used as a weapon,” Seo said.
The sheriff’s office originally said the suspect fired at deputies but later said the teen was not armed with a gun.
The teen was taken to Harborview Medical Center with gunshot wounds. His injuries were considered non-life-threatening, Seo said.
On Friday, the sheriff’s office confirmed the car the teen had been driving was a 1996 Lexus stolen in Federal Way.
The shooting occurred on a dead-end section of South 208th Street, immediately west of Interstate 5.
A woman who lives directly across the street from where the shooting happened, said she saw the suspect’s car pull directly into the entrance of an apartment building parking lot with police in close pursuit.
She brought kids who were playing in the street into her house for safety.
The woman said she saw two officers with guns and heard shots fired.
Juan Tapia, 13, and some other kids from the neighborhood were playing in the dead-end section of South 208th Street as the suspect’s car came down the road.
“He almost ran over my sister. Everyone was playing outside,” Tapia said.
He saw police pull up behind the suspect’s car and he and the other children ducked inside the nearby neighbor’s house after they saw a deputy pull a gun.
He said he then heard shots. When he looked out, he saw the suspect being removed from the car.
“I don’t know why the police had to shoot him. He didn’t have a gun,” the neighbor woman said, and it appeared the police had him boxed in.
“We’ve lived here four years and we’ve never had a problem like this,” she said.
The two deputies will be placed on administrative leave, Seo said. There will be a criminal and internal investigation into the shooting, he said.
The deputy who shot the teen is 41 and an 11-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s deputies work in SeaTac, which contracts for police services with the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Two dozen neighbors gathered outside the shooting scene at South 208th Street and 32nd Lane South Thursday night as officers collected evidence.
Jessica Schneider said her children were part of a group playing outside that witnessed the shooting.
“They shot him in front of people,” Schneider said. “This wasn’t necessary.”