Twelve Seattle police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after their involvement in a dramatic fatal pursuit similar to a violent scene from the Grand Theft Auto video game series.
Authorities received an emergency call from Storyville Coffee just after lunch Sunday. Staff reported a possibly armed man sweating and acting nervous. The suspect fled before police arrived. However, a short while later the same suspect appeared at a Turkish Delight.
“There, he spoke briefly with employees before he brandished a handgun at the restaurant’s owner and fled,” police said in a statement.
WATCH: Dashcam footage has been released of an incredible Seattle police pursuit of a carjacking suspect Sunday. The chase ended in a fatal barrage of bullets. Linzi Sheldon reports.
The suspect eventually entered a Quicksilver before brandishing a gun towards an employee at the rear of the building. That was followed by a report of a suspect pointing two firearms at employees of Under the Needle tattoo shop before entering an alley where the driver of a red Volkswagen Golf was ordered out of their vehicle at gunpoint.
The unidentified suspect drove the Golf across town to the UW Athletic Center where he held a man in the lobby at gunpoint until he relinquished his red minivan. The trail then headed north where the suspect allegedly held an older woman at gunpoint in an attempt to steal her Mercedes. But she ran and the suspect continued in the van.
The suspect eventually found his way into a Chevrolet Camaro after entering a rental lot and pointing a firearm at staff.
And that’s when the police chase began. Officers followed the man as he drove northbound in southbound-only lanes. At one point, an officer tried to disable the suspect’s vehicle by ramming it.
“Dashcam video of the jarring collision shows an officer slamming his patrol car into the suspect’s vehicle, crushing the patrol car’s front end and pushing the Camaro into the intersection,” a statement read. “Although the force of the crash disabled the officer’s patrol car, he can be seen on video exiting his vehicle and attempting to chase after the suspect’s stolen Camaro on foot as it speeds away.”
Police claim the suspect began to fire on them as the chase coursed through North Seattle.
WATCH: Extended dashcam footage captures fatal Seattle police pursuit of alleged carjacker
The pursuit eventually ended four neighbourhoods later in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighbourhood when the suspect’s stolen Camaro collided head-on with a police vehicle and a female in an SUV. She was able to flee to safety moments before the pursuit reached its climax.
Surrounded by multiple officers, police claim the suspect directed his gun towards them before a barrage of bullets could be seen and heard.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Two guns were found in his possession.
All twelve officers linked to the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues. Authorities are also examining the use of force used by police.
“Thankfully, no citizens or officers were significantly injured during Sunday’s pursuit and multiple collisions,” police added.
WATCH: Mayor Ed Murray and police chief Kathleen O’Toole spoke to the media following the incident