SEATTLE — Two Seattle police officers were shot Thursday while responding to a downtown robbery, authorities said. The location of the gunman was unclear.
Chief Kathleen O’Toole tells reporters the injuries are believed to be minor.
Police cruisers flooded the area, closing streets, and officers warned people to stay away.
The department reported the shooting on its Twitter feed at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday, saying the robbery had been reported near the waterfront, several blocks south of Pike Place Market.
The two officers — one male and one female — were responding to a robbery at a convenience store. A third officer was grazed in the hand by a bullet.
The female officer, 42, was shot in the chest but the bullet was stopped by her bulletproof vest. The second officer, a 30-year-old male, was shot in the chin and ribcage and is in critical condition, CBS affiliate KIRO-TV reports.
Both officers are recovering at Harborview Medical Center.
Police said on Twitter said one suspect was detained and another suspect was found with “significant injuries.” Officials are searching for a possible third suspect: a black male wearing a black jacket, glasses and a Seahawks beanie.
“We’ve got the doors locked, and the cops are all around us,” said Cindi Raykovich, co-owner of a nearby running shoe store. “They want us to stay in the back room. When we walk out front, there’s a guy standing out front who points at us and tells us to go back.”
The incident marked the first time a police officer was shot in Seattle since October 31, 2009, when officer Tim Brenton was killed and officer Britt Sweeney was wounded, KIRO reports.
“We have two police officers who are injured and our hearts and our thoughts are with those officers and with their families,” Mayor Ed Murray said in a press conference Thursday.
Brad Clough, who works at a bicycle repair shop in the area, said he heard sirens and saw at least several dozen police officers converge on the scene.
“Wow. This is real,” he said, describing SWAT officers racing down the street.
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