The Seattle police officer shot in the face during a confrontation with a suspected armed robber Thursday afternoon in downtown remains in the hospital.
Deputy Chief Carmen Best says the officer’s condition has improved.
“We are very grateful did this not turn out worse,” she said. “The officer remains in stable condition. When he was transported his condition was a lot worse than that.”
Early Friday morning, KIRO 7 reports, more than a half-dozen officers were at Harborview Medical Center to support the 30-year-old officer, who has been identified by The Seattle Times as Hudson Kang.
A total of four Seattle officers were injured while responding to the robbery, including Kang and Elizabeth Kennedy, 42, who was shot in the chest but saved by her Kevlar vest. Another officer was “grazed” by a bullet.
One suspect died after the encounter.
Two other suspects were taken into custody.
Suspects encounter police
Seattle police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a downtown 7-Eleven in the 600 block of 1st Avenue at 1:18 p.m. A witness told the Seattle Times that the suspects attempted to steal chips, soda, and a case of Heineken from the store.
After the suspects allegedly robbed the store at gunpoint, they fled and encountered police a block away. A hand-to-hand fight broke out between a responding officer and a 19-year-old male suspect who was armed with a handgun. During the fight, a 17-year-old female suspect hit the officer over the head with a bottle.
The male suspect then ran to the entryway of a nearby office building where he fired at police. Officers fired back. The suspect then went inside the building at Madison Street and Western Avenue, barricading himself inside. Employees inside the building were instructed to shelter-in-place. Police blocked off several streets around the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building.
KIRO Radio’s Josh Kerns was at the scene and said that he heard a loud explosion in the building, likely a flashbang, and then saw several medics rushing to that scene.
“There are dozens and dozens of Seattle police,” Kerns reported. “Very tense, there are guns drawn … Major, major response. Unlike anything I’ve seen in some time.”
A SWAT unit eventually entered the building and found the male suspect dead inside. While officers did shoot at the suspect earlier, it is unclear exactly how he died. The King County Medical Examiner will make that determination.
The female suspect was apprehended nearby, shortly after the male was found. After interviewing her, a second 19-year-old male suspect was identified. He was taken into custody around 6 p.m.
Injured Seattle police officers
A police spokesperson said that Kennedy was released from Harborview Medical Center after being treated on Thursday. She is a three-year veteran of the force.
Kang was shot in the face and ribs and was in serious, but stable condition Thursday night. He is a three-year veteran of the force.
A bullet grazed the hand of another officer. He is a 27-year veteran of the police department.
A fourth officer was treated at the scene after a bottle was broken over his head.
The officers who fired their weapons during the incident will be placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues.