Kent police officer Diego Moreno accidentally killed during chase by another officer
KENT, Wash. -- Kent police officer Diego Moreno was killed during a chase near SR 516 and Meeker street early Sunday morning, apparently struck by another Kent officer as he tried to deploy spike strips, according to the Washington State Patrol.
"It's a very sad day for law enforcement," said Trooper Ron Mead.
Moreno was a eight-year veteran of the Kent Police Department.
The incident started about 1:50 a.m. when officers responded to shots fired near the Shari's restaurant at Russell Road S and W. Meeker. An officer was in the area and heard the gunfire. When they arrived, witnesses pointed out a red pickup truck and police started a pursuit heading westbound on SR 516.
The truck somehow managed to turn around and headed back toward officers. Officer Moreno tried to deploy spike strips at Reith Road and SR 516 when he was struck by another officer pursuing the pickup. That officer then crashed into three cars at a nearby intersection. He was critically injured but has since been upgraded to satisfactory condition.
The truck continued eastbound on SR 516 for about a mile where it crashed into a car. Several suspects fled the scene. One was arrested and two others are at large.
Dozens of police officers and other first responders then escorted the fallen officer's body in a somber procession.
"We have troopers, detectives, and officers that are grieving the loss of a fellow officer and at the same time they're trying to piece together what happened to that officer, provide some measure of closure for that officer's family and hold the suspect or suspects responsible for this death," Mead said.
He vowed those suspects will be held accountable for the officer's death.
"Make no question about this, were it not for the suspects in this incident, this officer is still alive today," he said.
Investigators are asking anyone who has information about the chase or the shooting to call the Kent Police Hotline: (253) 856-5808.