Man who called 911 from Federal Way police shooting describes scene

Man who called 911 from Federal Way police shooting describes scene
A 23-year-old suspect was killed after he shot two Federal Way police officers on Dec. 31, 2019. (KIRO 7)

A suspect is dead and two Federal Way police officers are recovering after being shot during a violent New Year’s Eve confrontation.

"Next thing I know, there’s a whole barrage of shots going off,” witness Dave Ford said.

Cameras captured the sound of gunfire and flashing lights as Federal Way police surrounded a suspect at Southridge House apartments. It happened about 12:15 a.m. in the 30800 block of 14th Avenue South.

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"I knew it was not going to end well,” said witness Sheri Fiefia.

People who live inside the King County apartment complex heard the entire exchange.

Around midnight Tuesday, Ford walked outside his building and immediately knew something was wrong when he heard a man and woman arguing inside a car.

"I heard a lot of yelling, lot of commotion, lot of vulgar swearwords going on, and as I got further away from the dual glass door entrance, I heard a loud bang,” he said.

Ford called the cops.

“They came in from the north side, the south side, sirens blaring, lights on. Then I started hearing, ‘Drop the gun, drop the gun, put the beer down, drop the cigarettes, drop the gun,’” he said. “I think we had all of Federal Way Police Department here."

Federal Way police said the suspect didn't cooperate, so officers called for backup.

Suddenly, things took an even more violent turn.

"There was a gunfight between the suspect and the officers at the scene,” said Federal Way Police Chief Andy Hwang.

Police said the 23-year-old suspect was shot and killed.

Two officers also were shot. One officer was shot in the arm and the other officer was shot in the leg and chest.

“He took a direct shot to his chest and the ballistic vest undoubtedly saved his life," said Hwang. “In terms of life and death, we’re talking about inches here and we’re just grateful that they’re with us.”

Both officers were treated and released from the hospital.

In all, seven officers have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

Police are still searching for the woman involved in the argument that prompted the 911 call.