Undercover officers involved in shootout with illegal gun sellers in Kent

An undercover operation to bust an illegal gun seller turned into a shootout in Kent Friday evening. (Photo: KOMO News)

KENT, Wash. - An undercover operation to bust two accused illegal gun sellers turned into a shootout in Kent Friday evening.

It happened around 5:00 p.m. in the parking lot of a Lowes store along Pacific Highway S. near S. 240th Street.

Detectives said two undercover officers, who were part of a joint ATF operation with local and federal agencies, met up with two suspects who were selling illegal guns.

Investigators said the two suspects then attempted to rob the undercover officers, that's when the shooting began.

One suspect was shot. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The other suspect got out of the vehicle and attempted to run from the scene with a gun in his hand.

Police said he ran onto Pacific Highway and was hit by a car.

Officers took him into custody. He was also taken to a hospital to be checked out. No officers were injured.

Investigators said the main suspect is just 19 or 20 year old.

"This is a high crime area. There's guns all over in South King County," said Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas. "We're doing everything we can to address guns and gun violence."

Detectives are working to obtain a search warrant so they can go through the suspect's car but at least two guns were found at the scene.

"Our officers are out there doing everything they possibly can to keep our communities safe," said Thomas. "We got to do what we can to go after these suspects, very aggressively and get them into custody and do what we can."

A team of officers from the joint operation are now investigating.

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