Robbery suspect shot near Kitsap Mall

"An armed robbery suspect was arrested following an exchange of gunfire with a Kitsap Sheriff's deputy in the parking lot of Kitsap Mall early Thursday night.Sheriff Steve Boyer credited the arrest to alert citizens and good police work.The suspect was subsequently identified as Douglas Thompson, 35. Sheriff's Department officials said they have located two addresses for Thompson, one in Lakewood and one in Poulsbo.They were still investigating Friday morning whether Thompson had any previous convictions or contacts with law enforcement.According to Boyer, shoppers spotted a suspicious man wearing a ski mask coming out a back door of the Silverdale Medical Center, an urgent care facility located near Kitsap Mall, at around 6 p.m. Thursday.They called 911 on their cell phone. At approximately the same time, a robbery in progress was reported at the medical center by another caller, Boyer said.Only minutes later the suspect climbed over the wall of the medical center carrying a bag and headed for a nearby black Dodge Dart that waited with its engine running.Also waiting for the suspect was Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Chad Birkenfield.According to Boyer, Birkenfield identified himself and ordered the suspect to halt. When Thompson didn't stop, Birkenfield fired. Thompson was hit in the torso near his waistline.Initial reports were that the suspect fired on Birkenfield, but Undersheriff Dennis Bonneville said that was still under investigation.The report that was called in immediately (after the incident) indicated that he was armed with a gun and had a ski mask, Bonneville said Friday morning. But no gun has been located.Bonneville also said no shell casings had been found at the scene. However, when contacted, Bonneville said the Sheriff's Department had not yet searched the suspect's car. His weapon could still be located in the vehicle.Bonneville expected to obtain a search warrant Friday afternoon.According to Boyer, the glass of a van parked nearby was shattered. It was not clear Friday whose bullets broke the glass.Bonneville said Thompson probably stole several pills of a drug called phenobarbitol, a drug typically used as a sedative, hypnotic or an anticonvulsant.Bonneville also said there was no indication that money was stolen from the medical facility.Although there were numerous people in the mall parking lot at the time, no bystanders were injured.When additional deputies arrived, the wounded suspect was taken by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. His condition was not available Thursday night.We have to give all the credit for this arrest to the citizens who were paying attention to what was going on around them, Boyer said. This is the kind of cooperation that really works in the community.Birkenfield is a three-year veteran of the Sheriff Department. As is department policy following a shooting, Birkenfield has been placed on administrative leave."

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