LA CENTER, Wash. — Around 7:15 on Thursday night, Washington State Patrol began chasing a driver after he wouldn’t pull over for Kelso Police. The pursuit along Interstate 5 reached speeds of 100 mph. Spike strips were used, but were unsuccessful at stopping the car. The driver took exit 16 at La Center, and hit another vehicle at the top of the off-ramp. That crash disabled the car. Troopers tried to get the male driver and female passenger out of the car. The driver didn’t comply. At some point, WSP troopers and an officer with Cowlitz Tribal Police Department fired shots, striking the driver.
The passenger got out of the car and was taken into custody. The driver was alert and conscious, and still refused to get out of the car. He told law enforcement he had a gun in the car and was ready to die. The driver was seen multiple times using a meth pipe to ingest a substance believed to be methamphetamine. About 20 minutes later, he got out of the car and was arrested. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.
The car was searched and police found a gun. The investigation is ongoing and will be conducted by the Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team.