Robbery suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

Robbery suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

YAKIMA, Wash. - Police shot and killed a 26-year-old Tieton man after they say he led them on a pursuit across town and fired shots at officers.

According to Yakima Police Department (YPD) reports, Christopher Escobedo robbed Rocky Mart convenience store at 1003 W. Nob Hill Blvd. around 11:44 p.m., Monday.

"A lone subject entered the store, demanded money, produced a gun and the female cashier complied with that order, gave $300 cash to the gunman, who fled," Yakima Police Captain Jay Seely said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

A cashier at Rocky Mart told KIMA Action News that a small amount of money was taken and she said it's devastating that someone had to lose their life over this.

Just after officers received the initial call, an officer saw a Jeep Cherokee that matched the witness description in an alley near the store and when police went to investigate, the vehicle sped away. YPD followed the Jeep in a high speed car chase for several minutes, according to reports.

As the chase continued, the suspected robber began firing a gun towards the officers. YPD officials said speeds reached up to 80 miles per hour on Highway 12.

The chase ended when the Jeep crashed into a telephone in the area of Beffa and Naches/Tieton Roads in Tieton.

Chief of Detectives with the Yakima County Sheriff's Officer Ed Levesque said he doesn't know if the suspect fired at officers once he got out of his car but both officers fired at the suspect multiple times.

"He suffered multiple gun shot wounds and as a result of those gun shot wounds, he died," said Levesque.

Levesque said police recovered a black semi-automatic pistol near the suspect after the shooting.

Police reports said no officers were injured in the shooting.

Police said this is the first officer involved shooting since June 2016. The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting and YPD is investigating the armed robbery.

Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as procedure during the investigation. The first officer, Mark McKinney, is 42 years old and has 15 years of experience with YPD and the other officer, Travis Shephard, is 41 years old with just over two years of experience with the department. Police said they will release the names of the officers involved on Wednesday.

Yakima Police are also asking if you have any information on the shooting to call the Yakima Police Department at 509-575-6200 or the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at 509-574-2500.

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