Court documents allege that a pair of teen siblings from Kent robbed a 7-Eleven store in Seattle on Thursday, setting in motion the events that ended with one suspect dead and three police officers wounded by gunfire.
The robbery suspect found dead in a downtown building after a shootout Thursday with Seattle police was mortally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with officers, according to documents released Friday.
Damarius Butts, 19, of Kent, opened fire on Seattle police shortly after he robbed a 7-Eleven store at First Avenue and Cherry Street along with his 17-year-old sister while a second man, 19, waited outside, according to an affidavit of probable cause outlining the police case. The officers were attempting to arrest the siblings when Butts opened fire, police say.
Officers returned fire and wounded Butts, who fled to a nearby building where his body was later found. Three officers were wounded by gunfire, and all are expected to recover.
The affidavit, filed to support criminal charges against the Kent girl and the second 19-year-old man, shed new light on the robbery and the chaotic moments that led to the shooting Thursday afternoon. Police allege in the affidavit that the revolver used by Butts belonged to his sister, who carried a folding knife into the 7-Eleven. At 17, the girl is too young to legally possess a handgun.
The two surviving suspects waived their first appearances in court on Friday.
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The 17-year-old girl was ordered held on investigation of robbery during a detention hearing at the King County Youth Services Center.
A judge also found probable cause to hold the second suspect, a Renton man, on investigation of first-degree robbery. Bail was set at $75,000.
The Seattle Times is not naming either suspect because they have not been charged.
Meanwhile, a law-enforcement source identified Hudson Kang as the sole injured officer who remains in the hospital. Kang, 30, was in serious condition Friday at Harborview Medical Center, where his condition is said to be “improving.”
A female officer who was saved from serious wounds by her Kevlar vest was identified as Elizabeth Kennedy, 42, the source said. She was treated at the hospital Thursday and released.
Police have said both officers have been with the department for about three years.
A third officer, who has not been identified, suffered a minor bullet wound to the hand, and a fourth was hit over the head with a soft-drink bottle by the girl, police said. Both were treated Thursday.
According to the affidavit:
Butts and his sister walked into the 7-Eleven, took beer and snack items and walked out of the store just after 1 p.m. When a clerk followed them outside and grabbed the girl, Butts lifted his shirt, displayed a handgun stuffed in his waistband and told the clerk to let the girl go, police wrote.
The pair walked a short distance and stopped to smoke cigarettes. They then saw police converge on the area and decided to leave.
As police approached the two they began to run, but officers caught up with them. As an officer grabbed Butts, his sister struck the officer over the head with a bottle and placed him in a headlock.
The officer took her into custody as Butts ran off, with other officers in pursuit. At that point, Butts turned and shot at the officers, who returned fire and wounded Butts.
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The affidavit doesn’t describe what happened after the gunfire, but police on Thursday said the wounded suspect ran into the Federal Office Building, 909 First Ave., and hid inside an office. Police announced around 4 p.m. that his body had been found.
Butts died of multiple gunshot wounds, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday.
The second 19-year-old man took a bus home to Renton, where he was arrested Thursday evening, police said. The man told officers he knew of the plan to steal items from the store but was not aware of the shooting, the affidavit said.
Police said they found items stolen from the 7-Eleven inside the man’s bag, the affidavit said.
The 17-year-old girl told police she had purchased the handgun for $550, according to the affidavit. When detectives asked the girl why she gave the handgun to her brother before the robbery, she said that “she didn’t have it in her to pulled (sic) it on someone,” but she knew that Butts would, police wrote in the affidavit.
Police released photos of the Kevlar vest worn by Kennedy when she was shot as well as the handgun they say was used in the robbery and shooting.
According to his Facebook page, Kang, the wounded officer, is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Yakima, according to the Yakima Herald Republic. He attended Yakima Valley Community College and studied youth ministry at Trinity Lutheran College.
He also served as a reserve officer for the city of Union Gap, according to Yakima Police Department spokesman Mike Bastinelli.
In January 2016, Kang was one of five officers nominated for a Lifesaving Award for helping to save the life of a suspect who had been shot after drawing two knives on an officer.
Kennedy, interviewed while she was a police recruit, said she spent a decade as a prosecutor on the East Coast before deciding to become an officer, according to a KING-5 story.
Kennedy suffered a minor injury when she was struck by a seed cone thrown by Cody Lee Miller (aka #ManInTree) after he climbed an 80-foot tree outside the Seattle Macy’s store in March 2016.
CORRECTION: Information in this article, originally published April 21, 2017, was corrected April 22, 2017. A previous version of this story stated that a Ruger revolver was used in the shooting of three Seattle officers, according to police accounts in court documents. However, a photo of the firearm released by police shows a Smith & Wesson revolver.