A Washington lawman was shot during a 7-hour standoff with a barricaded suspect, according to authorities.
The incident began as a 44-year-old suspect was reported to have been holding hostages after firing upon law enforcement, leaving one officer down and one bystander wounded.
Authorities in Mount Vernon report the officer is in “serious, but stable” condition and both wounded personnel were evacuated to medical facilities.
The shooter -known only as the “primary suspect”, is reported by the Washington State Patrol to have been “known to law enforcement” and has a “lengthy, violent criminal history.” He and two other individuals were taken without incident near the end of the standoff after gas canisters were fired into the home. There were now hostages.
The unnamed officer that underwent surgery overnight is reported to have over 31 years’ experience on the job. He is 61 years of age and was reported to have been shot in the head.
Local resident Maria Zendejas told local Seattle news outlet KOMO that “there was a bang, bang, bang” when the incident went down.
“I had the kids go on the floor and don’t really see much,” she said. “I’m just shaken up with everything that’s going on. Poor officer is down. You wouldn’t think there’s something going on especially just three, four houses down from mine.”
Another resident, Mark Fossati, said he was putting up Christmas lights when he heard shooting.
“I think, God, that sounds like a shot, and then 10 seconds later I heard bang, bang — two more shots,” he said. “And I looked around and about 10 to 15 seconds later I heard a shot and then a rapid succession of shots like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Then I knew something was really wrong. These are gun shots, and something serious is going down. So it was pretty terrible.”
A local university informed students via Twitter to “get inside and stay inside” during the standoff.
The area where the standoff took place is still under lockdown by police until law enforcement officers can properly investigate the scene. Sergeant Leary of the Washington State Patrol said that evacuated residents would eventually be allowed to return to their homes.
“A job well done by all law enforcement agencies and we wish the quick recovery of the officer who was shot,” said Leary. “He’s in the hospital now with a gunshot wound. That’s the biggest fear of any law enforcement officer out here.”
The names of the suspects are expected to be released later today.
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