Two Bremerton police officers were in the hospital with gunshot wounds Sunday after a 53-year-old man fired numerous shots at them.
The officers returned fire and killed the man, according to Police Chief Steve Strachan.
The man was known to police from previous incidents involving domestic violence. The two officers approached him because he was believed to have violated a domestic violence protective order.
Police have had previous run-ins with the man, who had blackened an officer’s eye in a recent contact, the chief said.
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The man opened fire on the officers early Sunday as they approached him while he was seated behind the wheel of an SUV.
He was armed with two handguns and came out shooting, a gun in each hand, Strachan said.
The chief called it a “firefight.”
“It was in relatively close quarters,” Strachan told reporters, and the officers retreated to cover behind their vehicles. “There are bullet holes in the squad cars.”
One officer was grazed along the waist by a bullet and was expected to be released later Sunday from Harrison Hospital, the chief said.
The second suffered “two, maybe three” gunshot wounds in his abdomen, just below his protective vest. The chief said the officer was in surgery most of the night but was in satisfactory condition with his family Sunday morning.
Strachan said the preliminary information indicated the incident started when officers tried to talk to the man at 1:16 a.m. while he was in an SUV in the parking lot at Lions Park near Lebo Boulevard and Hefner Avenue in Bremerton.
As the two officers approached, “the man immediately began firing numerous shots directly at both officers,” Strachan said. The call to dispatch that shots had been fired was broadcast at 1:20 a.m., the sheriff said.
The Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team, which responds to major incidents, was called to the shooting scene.
Strachan said the investigation into the shooting will be conducted by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol, along with officers from the Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard police departments.