SEATTLE, Wash. (KIRO TV) Two Seattle police officers responding to a robbery at a convenience store were shot, one critically, and authorities were still searching for a suspect Thursday.
There were three suspects taken into custody, Seattle police said. CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reported that one of the suspects is dead.
A 42-year-old female officer was in satisfactory condition, and a 30-year-old male officer was in critical condition, with life-threatening injuries, according to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
One was shot in the chest but saved by a bulletproof vest, and the other was shot in the chin and ribcage, Mayor Ed Murray said a news conference near the scene. It wasn’t clear which officer had which injuries.
“Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families,” Murray said.
The robbery took place at a 7-11 convenience store near the city’s oldest neighborhood, Pioneer Square, Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said. The three robbery suspects fled, but when police tried to stop them a block away, the officers and suspects began fighting.
While one officer fought with a suspect on the ground, a female suspect struck that officer over the head with a bottle, Best said. The suspects fled, and one shot at police, who returned fire, she said.
The suspect who opened fire barricaded himself inside a nearby building, Best said. It’s not clear if that was the wounded suspect.
Investigators have closed off several blocks as they seek the third suspect, described as a 5-foot-11 black male, with a dark complexion, weighing 250 pounds and wearing a black jacket, glasses and a Seattle Seahawks ski cap.
Police cruisers flooded the area, closing streets, and officers warned people to stay away.
“We’ve got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us,” said Cindi Raykovich, co-owner of a nearby running shoe store. “They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there’s a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back.”
A bystander, Dana Yin, told CBS affiliate KIRO-TV that he was working nearby when heard four gunshots.
The incident marks the first time a police officer has been shot in Seattle since October 31, 2009 when officer Tim Brenton was killed and officer Britt Sweeney was injured, KIRO reports.
The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter Thursday, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.
Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.
“Wow. This is real,” he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.