Officers shoot woman driver after ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ chase ends near Pasco

Here’s what the Washington State Patrol does

The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.
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The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.

A woman remained hospitalized Sunday after being shot by law enforcement officers when an ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ chase ended near Pasco.

Two women, who may have been involved in a robbery in Columbia County, were running from officers in a stolen white Prius, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The chase and officer-involved shooting ended around 3 p.m. Saturday on Highway 12 near the Snake River bridge in Burbank, just east of Pasco.

The wounded woman, who was not identified, was taken to a Tri-Cities hospital and expected to survive, said a WSP news release.

The incident began mid-afternoon in Columbia County, said the WSP.

The Prius took off as officers tried to stop it and was driven recklessly at high speeds to evade them, said investigators.

A woman passenger in the Prius, who also was not identified, jumped out and was arrested. She is in custody in Columbia County, said the WSP.

But the woman driver continued fleeing, crossing into Franklin County.

The chase by Franklin and Columbia county deputies and state troopers was an “extraordinarily dangerous pursuit,” said the WSP.

WSP: Suspect pulled out gun

Spike strips were put out and officers maneuvered their cars to end the chase two miles east of Pasco city limits just south of the Highway 12 bridge.

The Prius driver brandished a gun after the car stopped about 3 p.m., according to the WSP.

Three officers shot several rounds at her, hitting her an undisclosed number of times.

The shots were fired by a Franklin County deputy and two Washington State Patrol troopers, said the news release.

She then barricaded herself inside the Prius until a SWAT tactical team arrived and eventually took her into custody.

She was immediately treated for her wounds and taken a hospital, according to the WSP.

No officers were injured.

The two WSP troopers who fired shots were taken to the Pasco Police Department for standard processing after an officer-involved shooting.

No information was immediately available Sunday about the Franklin County deputy who fired.

The incident is under investigation by a multiagency task force.

A separate investigation of the shots fired by officers will be led by Richland police and Benton County sheriff’s deputies because they were not involved in the incident.

Traffic was diverted on Highway 12 in both directions until about 7:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Anyone with information on the chase or shooting is asked to call the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office at 509-527-3265.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.