Cops ID’d after shooting at, running over Yakima robber after threatening neighborhood with shotgun, YPD says

UPDATE: The three officers involved in this critical incident have been identified.

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima Valley Special Investigations Unit has launched an investigation into an incident Sunday involving officers firing shots at a 21-year-old robbery suspect and striking him with a patrol car.

Emergency dispatchers received a call at 10:46 about a man standing in the middle of the 1200 block of South 9th Avenue pointing a shotgun at homes in the area. Shortly after, the call was updated to report the man had shot at a house.

“Then the call was updated again, that he entered a house and then he stole the vehicle from the homeowners,” Yakima Police Capt. Jay Seely said.

Seely said within a few minutes, patrol officers were able to find the stolen vehicle and followed it throughout the city for about 10 minutes in a low-speed pursuit. He said the suspect was going about 25 to 30 miles per hour, stopping at stop signs and obeying traffic laws.

However, when the suspect reached Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, he reportedly drove the wrong way on the one-way street for several blocks before stopping near North 5th Avenue.

“He left the vehicle — on foot — and the vehicle was left unattended and continued rolling westbound into traffic,” Seely said.

Seely said the man was armed with a shotgun and pointed the weapon at the responding police officers, who fired at him.

“At the same time, another officer was going northbound on 5th Avenue and he saw the incident occurring and he struck the subject with his patrol car, ending the engagement,” Seely said.

The 21-year-old man reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and was taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, where he remained Monday in “stable” condition.

Seely said it will be up to the YVSIU to determine whether the suspect fired at officers as well.  According to a YVSIU news release, officers “engaged the suspect and there was an exchange of gunfire,” but no officers were injured.

Seely said the three officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave, as per the police department’s standard procedure. Seely said that includes two officers who fired their weapons and the third officer, who was driving the patrol car that hit the suspect.

YVSIU members will investigate the use of force, review the evidence and then forward any recommendations they have to the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The names of the officers and the suspect are being withheld at this time.

According to the release, the YVSIU is “a team of supervisors, investigators, crime scene investigators and evidence technicians from various Yakima County law enforcement agencies and Washington State Patrol. YVSIU responds to and provides independent investigations of police use of force incidents. This team includes civilian community members who observe the criminal investigation and related processes, per the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act.”

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