Gunman killed at Wal-Mart faced kidnapping charge
SEATTLE – A man killed in a shootout with police at a Washington state Wal-Mart faced a child kidnapping charge, and a girl shot dead in the crossfire is believed to be a Utah youth who ran away with him, authorities said on Tuesday.
The gunman who opened fire on two Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies and was himself gunned down by a third deputy on Sunday in Port Orchard, Washington, just west of Seattle, has been identified as Anthony Martinez, 30, of Salt Lake City.
Martinez posted $25,000 bond in November and was due in court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing on a child kidnapping charge against him, a Utah state court spokeswoman, Nancy Volmer, told Reuters.
Washington state investigators were still trying to positively identify the young female who appeared to have accompanied Martinez on Sunday and was killed with him in the exchange of gunfire.
«She was running to the suspect when he went down,» said Krista Hedstrom, spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol.
Their relationship was still under investigation, but she was believed to be the 13- or 14-year-old girl twice reported missing in Utah and thought to have run away with Martinez, said deputy Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.
«She matches the age, she matches the general parameters. We know that they were together, so it could be a pretty safe assumption,» he said.
Police said confirmation would have to await examination of dental records because photo evidence was inconclusive and no fingerprints were on file.
Police in South Salt Lake, Utah, tried to contact Martinez after the girl in question was reported on January 19 to have cut a tracking device from her ankle and fled a foster-youth home there, police spokesman Gary Keller said.
The circumstances that led to Sunday’s shooting also remained sketchy.
Wilson said two deputies were called to the Wal-Mart store in response to a report of a suspicious person, and Martinez tried to flee when they approached him in the parking lot.
«They gave chase, he turned and started shooting at them, they both were hit and could not even draw their own weapons,» Wilson said. A third officer arriving on the scene jumped out of her patrol car, «engaged him in gunfire and down he went.»
Wilson said investigators were not disclosing the nature of the suspicious activity that prompted the call to police.
One of the two wounded deputies was released from the hospital on Tuesday and the other was expected to recover as well, Wilson said.