A suspected armed robber was in critical condition Thursday after a Lakewood patrol car pinned him against an air-pump kiosk as he tried to flee Wednesday night, police said.
The incident started just before 7 p.m. when someone called 911 to report two armed men wearing masks were robbing the Olympic Grocery at 12928 Bridgeport Way SW.
Police Lt. Chris Lawler gave this account:
The robbers jumped over the counter and demanded cash. Two employees held hands as they kept them raised and the robbers waved handguns.
A witness stayed on the phone with dispatchers to provide updates on the holdup and advised them that the robbers left in a blue truck.
Officers responding to the robbery spotted the truck on Bridgeport near the Interstate 5 overpass and tried to pull it over. The driver refused to stop and police chased the truck until it crashed in the 10800 block of Bridgeport Way SW.
One man ran and was quickly caught by a search dog.
The driver ran north into a gas station parking lot, where police said he tried to carjack someone filling up at the gas pump.
When the suspect spotted officers pulling into the parking lot, he ran toward the business, waiving a pistol. An officer used his patrol car to pin the man against an air-pump kiosk in the parking lot.
The suspect then was taken into custody.
The man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition.
The second suspect was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center and was expected to be released Thursday and then booked into the Pierce County Jail
The 56-year-old officer who pinned the suspected robber with his patrol car was placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted, which is standard procedure.
He has been with the department more than 11 years.
Detectives later learned the truck driven by the suspected robbers was stolen at gunpoint about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday from the 600 block of East Harrison Street in Tacoma.
The victim’s description of the two men who stole the truck matched those of the grocery store robbers.
Also on Wednesday night, a woman called 911 to report a man in a pickup pulled up next to her near East 32nd and J streets and pointed a handgun at her.
Police believe the man in the truck was one of the robbery suspects.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653