Rantz: WSP, SPD arrest main suspect in theft of officer’s car, stolen after she was killed
The Washington State Patrol arrested the primary suspect accused of stealing the personal car of Seattle police officer Alexandra Harris, who was struck and killed on I-5 early Sunday while off-duty.
Roger Lee Owens Jr., 49, of Seattle, was arrested Thursday evening at 9:22 p.m. after a days-long effort by the WSP and the Seattle Police Department’s SWAT team. Owens Jr. is believed to have a criminal history.
Investigators believe Owens stole a gun belonging to Harris. But it remains unclear if the gun was located.
In an inclusive interview with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, WSP Trooper Chase Van Cleave offered a glimpse into the investigation. Investigators did not initially know Harris was an officer and, based on some witness accounts, they initially thought she owned the suspect’s vehicle. Investigators did not reveal why they believe Owens fled.
Six total arrests were made, some for assisting Owens as he evaded police. The other arrests are unrelated to the theft of the vehicle.
Charges against Owens include felony hit and run, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen firearm, and identity theft. WSP says they expect more arrests will be made in the coming days but they believe Owens Jr. stole Harris’ car.
Van Cleave also confirmed that, as first reported by KTTH, a man they believed to be the main suspect was arrested early Wednesday morning in error. The unidentified suspect was a close associate of Owens and that arrest helped “redirect” investigators to the suspect.
WSP apologized for a press release that caused confusion, implying the report was false. They said it was not done intentionally.
According to the incident summary from the SPD Blotter, Harris had just left work when she happened upon a collision on I-5 near South Forest Street. At this point in the investigation, SPD writes, it appears that Harris pulled over and got out to check on the drivers involved in the collision. She was outside her vehicle when she was then struck by an additional motorist and killed.
The driver who hit Harris stayed at the scene, and state patrol has said they are cooperating with the investigation.
This is a developing story.
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