Crime

Tumwater police shoot suspect in hostage incident at Jack in the Box

A multi-agency, law enforcement response team investigates the officer-involved shooting at the Jack in the Box restaurant Tuesday  after Tumwater police responding to a reported 4:30 p.m. hostage incident shot one suspect.
A multi-agency, law enforcement response team investigates the officer-involved shooting at the Jack in the Box restaurant Tuesday after Tumwater police responding to a reported 4:30 p.m. hostage incident shot one suspect. Staff photographer

Tumwater police shot a knife-wielding suspect Tuesday who allegedly entered a fast food restaurant and held an employee hostage.

The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. at the Jack in the Box at Trosper Road and Capitol Boulevard.

According to police, the suspect held one employee hostage with a knife to the throat. Officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect. Once the hostage broke free from the suspect, police entered the restaurant and fired three shots.

The suspect, a white male in his 50s, was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His condition and identity were unknown, according to Detective Jen Kolb, police spokeswoman.

Three employees were in the restaurant when the incident occurred, said Kolb, adding that the one hostage had minor defensive injuries.

Two officers were involved in the shooting and will be placed on administrative leave while the Thurston County Critical Incident Team investigates, Kolb said.

Devin Eberle had been shopping at a nearby store when he saw one officer enter the restaurant. Shots were fired almost immediately before the door could close behind the officer, he said.

“As soon as he went in — pop, pop, pop,” Eberle told The Olympian.

Another witness, Dave Elliott, said the suspect had driven by in the parking lot and told him not to go into Jack in the Box because he was going to “rob the place.” The suspect walked in with a bottle of alcohol and a knife in his hand, then started pointing the knife at an employee, Elliott said.

Elliott said he got the suspect to chase him outside the restaurant for about 30 seconds before the suspect went back inside.

“At first, I didn’t believe it,” Elliott said of the scene, noting that he didn’t see any customers inside. “I wanted to get him out of the restaurant.”

Kolb said more information on the incident would be available Wednesday.

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