SPD releases video of deadly shooting of suspected child predator at Tukwila hotel | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Seattle police released new bodycam video Friday evening that shows the moments leading up toofficers fatally shooting a suspected child predator at a Tukwila hotel earlier this week.

Seattle Police Department (SPD) Chief Adrian Diaz said the 67-year-old child predator suspect arrived at the DoubleTree Suites hotel around 3:13 p.m. on Wednesday under the impression that he was meeting two young girls, ages 7 and 11.

However, unbeknownst to the suspect, multiple SPD officers with the Washington State Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce were undercover and waiting to arrest the man.

The task force at the SPD investigates Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) cases. These cases may include the production, distribution or possession of materials used to sexually exploit children or service provider systems used in committing such crimes.

The newly released video shows the officers opening the door for the man, who immediately flashed a gun. A scuffle then occurred before police ultimately fatally shot the man. The man was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Officials at the scene said a Seattle officer was grazed by a bullet on their leg during the shootout with the man.

RELATED: Man shot, killed by SPD at Tukwila hotel during crimes against children operation

Diaz continued to note that internet crimes against children are up 67% from 2022 to 2023.

“For our officers, these situations are dangerous, unpredictable, and can escalate rapidly,” Diaz said.

“I was running, I could see someone firing a gun,” said Eric Wehrmeister, who was staying at the hotel several doors down. “There was a rapid succession of gunfire. Good thing they were shooting away from my room. You know it could’ve been a lot worse.”

Wehrmeister told KOMO News he had just checked out before the shooting on the fifth floor of the hotel, which happened several rooms down from where he had stayed.

Online enticement and exploitation of children is growing at an exponential rate, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

RELATED: Man fatally shot by Seattle police during sexual exploitation of children investigation

Its CyberTipline received 36.2 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation in 2023. Data shows that online enticement reports increased more than 300% during the previous two years.

When asked what their biggest concern was with children, 88% of parents said child abductions, according to the NCMEC’s Harris Pool.

The NCMEC said that online safety barely registered in that poll, shining a light on how most people remain unaware of how frequent and close to home cases of child exploitation can be.

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