Shots fired as suspected car thief leads police on chase down I-5

Shots fired as suspected car thief leads police on chase down I-5 »Play Video
FIFE, Wash. -- A state patrol trooper opened fire on a suspected car thief Wednesday afternoon after that thief tried to run over the trooper, just moments after leading police on a high speed chase down I-5, officials said.

It doesn't appear anyone was hit by the gunfire.

- View photos from scene

The chase began in Burien around 2 p.m. when a King County Sheriff's deputy received a signal from an anti-theft device that a BMW had been stolen, said Sgt. John Urquhart with the Sheriff's Department. The deputy last saw the car heading east on SR-518.

Several police agencies responded and a high-speed chase ensued when the car was spotted the car on I-5 south near Federal Way.

Once the chase reached Fife, the thief exited the freeway and carjacked a driver of a red Honda, said Julie Startup with the Washington State Patrol.

At that point multiple witnesses report the thief drove at a female trooper on a motorcycle two separate times. After the first attempt, the trooper abandoned her bike and was on foot, the patrol said. The thief came at her a second time, at which point she fired shots.

"She pulled her weapon and fired, I believe, through the windshield and possibly through the driver's door," said witness Daniel Cote.

The thief sped off again but only made it about a 1/2 mile before crashing the Honda into a tree near the 3900 block of 20th Street East, just outside the Costco parking lot.

But even then, he didn't want to give up and had to be Tased.

"He was still combative so there was some... non-lethal force used to get him out of the car," said Trooper J.J. Gundermann. "He does have some injuries; we're still trying to figure out if he was hit by bullets or hurt in the car crash."

The suspected thief was taken to a local hospital for treatment. He has not been identified.