A police officer in Seattle, Wash., accidentally shot a suspect in the leg on Wednesday night after what officials called a "chaotic series of events."
The officer was responding to a call about a possible incendiary device at 120th and Aurora. Although there was no such device — the man who made the call was reportedly mentally ill — officers discovered a 19-year-old female punching another woman on the sidewalk as they arrived on the scene.
Upon seeing the police, one woman took off running across the street, and the officer left his patrol vehicle to follow her on foot. He chased her to the parking lot of a local business, and asked the woman to show her hands.
When the woman refused to comply with his orders, the officer drew his gun from its holster. During the action, he accidentally fired a single shot, which was not lethal.
Police reports state, “at some point the officer encountered the female in the back parking lot of the business. During that encounter a shot was fired and the female was struck once in the lower leg.”
The officer quickly acted to help the woman, says an online post from the police department. According to the post, “The officer immediately radioed for medics and offered his apologies to the woman for the very regrettable incident.”
When police ran the suspect’s name through the system, they found that she had several felony warrants in Snohomish County and recommended that she be booked in jail.
The shooting officer has been placed on administrative leave, as is the policy in Seattle for such events. He had been with the department for a year and a half when the incident occurred.
The department is still investigating the case, and holding the officer’s weapon as evidence.