Two dead, two deputies wounded following shooting in Port Orchard Walmart parking lot
By JEFF RHODES
Port Orchard Independent Editor
January 25, 2011 · Updated 10:51 AM
Two people are dead and a pair of Kitsap County deputies were wounded in a shooting incident on Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the Port Orchard WalMart store.
The injured deputies were transported to Tacoma General Hospital with what were described as “non-life-threatening” wounds to their abdomens.
Their condition was reported as satisfactory by early Monday morning and there was speculation they could be discharged the same day.
Both deputies were veterans of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, having spent between five and 10 years on the job.
One of those killed was a suspect who had fired at the deputies; the other was a teenaged female whose relationship to the male suspect isn’t known.
Witnesses, however, say when the shooting occurred she ran to the suspect and was apparently caught in the crossfire, leading investigators to believe the two were connected in some way.
Neither the suspects nor the deputies were immediately identified.
According to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson, three deputies responded at around 3:45 p.m. to a call from a WalMart shopper reporting suspicious person at the store.
Arriving within minutes, the officers located the suspect in the parking lot.
Two male deputies ordered him to stop and were attempting to handcuff him when he broke free and produced a weapon.
An undetermined number of shots were fired at the deputies as the suspect attempted to flee and the deputies were wounded before they could return fire.
At this point a female deputy arrived on the scene and began shooting at the male suspect, who was hit in the exchange.
Wilson said investigators were unsure whether the female teen was also armed and firing at the officers.
The male suspect died at the scene; the female was taken to Tacoma General, where she later died.
Wilson said investigators were unsure what sparked the shooting and did not disclose what seemed suspicious about the suspect to whoever called 911.
“We have no motive at this point,” he said. “Things here are chaotic, as you might imagine, but we have the situation under control and the community is safe.”
Wilson said the store was put on lockdown when the shooting broke out, with an undetermined number of shoppers inside.
Because the Sheriff’s Office is involved, Washington State Patrol has assumed charge of the investigation, Wilson said, and the FBI is also contributing.
The female deputy involved was placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of the incident, as is standard procedure in such cases.
“We could have had three dead deputies today,” said Kitsap Sheriff Steve Boyer. “Thank goodness, we don’t. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen in Port Orchard.”
Video from KOMO News: