Wash. troopers shoot driver after state patrol car rammed

Wash. troopers shoot driver after state patrol car rammed »Play Video
SHORELINE, Wash. - State troopers shot a suspected impaired driver after he rammed a patrol car overnight during a pursuit, the Washington State Patrol reported.

The incident began at a few minutes before midnight on Thursday when a trooper tried to pull the man over at Highway 99 and 196th Street in Lynnwood after seeing him drive erratically, swerving in and out of traffic.

The suspect, driving a Mazda, refused to stop and troopers pursued him in two patrol cars.

The pursuit continued south to 175th Street, then west on 175th a few blocks, where it ended about eight minutes later near two homes at the end of the street.

As the troopers attempted to get the man to stop, he plowed his Mazda into one of their patrol cars.

Both troopers fired their weapons, hitting the suspect at least once in the leg.

It's not immediately clear if he was shot inside his car or if the shootings happened as he tried to run away from the scene.

The State Patrol says its troopers needed to make a split-second decision.

"The one trooper indicated that his vehicle was rammed, that's the officer's safety portion of it, safety for his life, we don't know what the intentions of that suspect are - so it was to the point where they believed that their lives were in jeopardy," says Trooper Keith Leary.

Neither trooper was hurt in the incident. They'll now be placed on desk duty as this shooting investigation gets under way.

The suspect's identity was not immediately available. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of his gunshot wound, which is not considered life-threatening. Leary said it is believed that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident.