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Wash. deputy critically wounded in shooting while serving eviction notice

The King County deputy was hit by a bullet that missed his vest and hit him in the upper torso

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By Lauren Girgis , Amanda Zhou and Vonnai Phair
The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — A King County sheriff’s deputy was shot and critically wounded Monday while serving an eviction notice at a Ballard apartment where a person was later found dead.

The deputy is in critical condition at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where he was taken for surgery after the exchange of gunfire in the 800 block of Northwest 54th Street. The 29-year-old found dead had barricaded themselves in the apartment, and the cause of death wasn’t immediately clear.

Neither that person nor the deputy has been publicly identified, though authorities said the deputy was a 25-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.

He and two other deputies were serving a final eviction notice and had made contact with the person in the apartment when shots were fired, according to the King County Independent Force Investigation Team. The person retreated into the apartment and was later found dead.

The two other deputies fired shots, said Meeghan Black, a spokesperson for the investigative team. The deputy who was wounded did not. It’s standard procedure to have two or three deputies at proceedings such as the servicing of eviction notices.

All three deputies were wearing bulletproof vests, Black said, but the injured deputy was hit by a bullet that missed his vest and hit him in the upper torso.

The two uninjured deputies were with investigators, Black said Monday afternoon. Both deputies, who have worked for the sheriff’s office for more than 20 years apiece, will be placed on administrative leave, as is standard practice, while the investigation continues.

“It takes time to process all of this stuff,” she said.

The shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m., drawing a large police response. The Seattle Police Department said the scene was “secure” more than two hours later.

Paul Morris, 30, said he was making breakfast a block away when he thought he heard the sound of a car backfiring. He heard two more of the same sound, then sirens. “This does not sound normal,” he said.

The shooting closed nearby streets and affected King County Metro lines, according to authorities. Anyone who saw the shooting or has surveillance footage should contact law enforcement, Black said.

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