KENT, Wash. – Three teen suspects are now in custody in connection with a police chase that led to a suburb of Seattle officer is struck and killed by the pursuing of an officer in a patrol car.
Kent police chief Rafael Padilla said at a press conference Monday that a passenger in the suspect vehicle was arrested with the help of a police dog after the incident early Sunday that killed Officer Diego Moreno. Two other suspects, including the 16-year-old driver, now arrested, ” he said.
The chase started around 2 pm, and Sunday, after a red truck was seen leaving a restaurant parking lot where the shots were fired, according to Padilla.
Moreno had deployed spike strips at an intersection Sunday to delay the suspect’s car, police said. He was on foot when he was struck by the patrol car and pursuing the suspects. The authorities have not yet said what specifically led to that collision. Washington State Patrol District Commander Ron Mead on Sunday, the guilt of the accused for Moreno’s death.
The fleeing suspect’s truck ended up on a peak, but continued to have a km for hitting a barrier and coming to rest on the hood.
The patrol car also ran into a SUV which spun into two other vehicles. Padilla said three bystanders provided medical care and that they were all doing OK. The officer driving the patrol car was hospitalized in critical condition had improved by the night of Sunday to Monday. He remained in a Seattle hospital Monday with serious injuries, said Padilla. That officer has been with the department for 18 years and is one of their best, said Padilla. The police said they would release his name at a later time.
Padilla said Moreno has made a significant contribution during his eight years on the force, and described him as an “incredible man.”
The Venezuela native was honored last year by the city with a Lifesaving Medal for rescuing someone from an opioid overdose. In 2016, he has been praised for rescuing an elderly woman from a fire.
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph said Moreno’s efforts went above and beyond in the department in the Shop with a Cop holiday event. Ralph said last year Moreno took out his own wallet to cover extra costs for things that a child wanted to.
“That was the type of person he was, the officer he was,” Ralph said. “He leaves a huge hole in our hearts.”
Moreno is survived by his wife and two young children.
Members of the community added Monday to a memorial of flowers, candles, drawings, and other items outside the Kent police station.
A wake will take place on Wednesday evening in Kent Town Square.