The 17-year-old boy shot in the head by a King County sheriff’s deputy in SeaTac on Thursday night remained hospitalized Friday, while the deputy was placed on administrative leave.

Share story

The 17-year-old boy shot in the head by a King County sheriff’s deputy in SeaTac on Thursday night remained hospitalized Friday, while the deputy was placed on administrative leave.

The Sheriff’s Office said the teen suffered a non-life-threatening wound in the shooting.

The 1996 Lexus driven by the teen had been reported stolen in Federal Way, authorities said.

The teen was spotted by deputies in the stolen vehicle on International Boulevard and South 208th Street around 8:20 p.m. Thursday, according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Stan Seo.

Two deputies in separate cars tried to pull the car over, but were unsuccessful, Seo said. During a pursuit, the teen drove into a dead end in the parking lot of an apartment complex on South 208th, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The two patrol cars were able to surround the vehicle, and both deputies got out of their cars.

The teen shifted the stolen vehicle into reverse, ramming a patrol car close to one of the deputies, Seo said. The other deputy then shot the teen twice, striking him in the head, Seo said.

“The car was being used as a weapon,” Seo said.

The Sheriff’s Office originally tweeted that the teen had fired at deputies, but later said the teen was not armed with a gun. The initial tweet was based on incorrect information after a deputy reported shots fired, Seo said Friday.

“My mistake was based on what I was being told from very early reports,” Seo said.

The teen was taken to Harborview Medical Center, but the hospital wasn’t able to release any information on his condition Friday afternoon, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

He will be booked in connection with the incident once he is treated, according to Seo. He is being guarded by officers at Harborview.

The deputy was not hurt.

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 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,” the neighbor woman said. “He didn’t have a gun,” 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.

Seo said there will be a criminal and internal investigation into the shooting.

The teen has a criminal record that includes charges of vehicle-prowling, theft and malicious mischief, according to court documents. He has served time in Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration detention.

The deputy who shot the teen is 41 and an 11-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Seo said sheriff’s cars are not equipped with dashboard cameras.

The sheriff’s deputies work in SeaTac, which contracts for police services with the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Following a news conference at the crime scene Thursday night, some neighbors chanted “black lives matter.” The wounded teen is black, and the two deputies involved in the incident are white, Seo said.

In a statement, the city of SeaTac urged the sheriff’s department to remain transparent and citizens to be “calm and thoughtful.”

“Our thoughts are with the family of the young man and the deputies involved,” the statement said. “The City is thankful that no one else, including any other members of the public or our officers, were injured. The City is hopeful that our community will remain calm and thoughtful as we work through this matter.”