On Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at about 3 p.m. a male suspect came to the city hall campus and Kent Police Headquarters and set an unmarked police vehicle on fire.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident.
No motive or details on the suspect has yet been released.
“I am incredibly grateful that no one was in the car and I am even more grateful that no one was hurt by this dangerous and potentially lethal act,” Police Chief Rafael Padilla said. “And although it is clear that our officers were the target of this act they responded with professionalism and integrity. They were able to take this male into custody without having to use force.”
Police say that the incident was witnessed by a bystander on city hall campus as well as a city employee.
“And to them, I want to say thank you,” Padilla said. “Their quick actions to report this allowed us to respond quickly and take the male into custody. We are not aware of what the motivations are of this male and our detectives are looking into that. We have also called in assistance from our federal law enforcement partners and they have brought resources so that we may determine what happened. Again, we don’t to speculate.”
“…we take this act very seriously,” Padilla added. “Any attack on my officers is something that is right at the top of our priorities, and we will do everything we can to keep them safe.”
Mayor Ralph added:
“I want to start by being really clear: what happened here today in Kent at City Hall, in our own backyard, is not acceptable. It’s not who we are as a community and it wont be tolerated. While we’re committed to taking care of and keeping safe our 130,000 residents, we are also committed to taking care of and keeping safe our 730 city employees who come to work every single day to serve this city.
I’m extremely proud of the swift action of our police department. They not only prevented harm to any individuals here whether it be city employees, people visiting city hall campus, or further destruction of property. They were able to take the suspect into custody without any incident. That’s how we do things here in Kent. It’s important to me that as a community we stand together. We know that as a city the only way that we have moved forward is together.”
Here’s video of the city’s announcement: