SEATTLE >> Two Seattle police officers were shot and injured today while responding to a robbery at a convenience store.
One suspect was dead, authorities said, and another was being questioned.
A 42-year-old female officer was listed in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center, after her ballistics vest stopped a bullet headed for her chest, authorities said.
A 30-year-old male officer, initially listed as critical with life-threatening injuries after being shot in the chin and ribcage, was upgraded to serious but stable condition.
“Our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
The robbery took place at a 7-11 store near Pioneer Square, the city’s oldest neighborhood, Deputy Police Chief Carmen Best said. Officers initially said three suspects were involved, but later cleared one person.
The suspects ran from the store and fought with officers who tried to stop them a block away, Best said.
While one officer fought with a suspect on the ground, a female suspect struck that officer over the head with a bottle, Best said. The suspects fled, and one shot at police, who returned fire, she said.
The suspect who opened fire barricaded himself inside a nearby building, Best said.
Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a police spokesman, later confirmed that that suspect had died. It wasn’t clear if the suspect died before being discovered by police, or who inflicted the fatal wounds.
Investigators closed off several blocks as police cruisers flooded the area, closing streets, and officers warned people to stay away.
“We’ve got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us,” said Cindi Raykovich, co-owner of a nearby running shoe store. “They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there’s a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back.”
The department disclosed the shooting on Twitter, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.
Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.
“Wow. This is real,” he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.