The Centralia Police Department officer who was stabbed and seriously wounded Friday during the attempted arrest of a child rape suspect in Chehalis was released from Providence Centralia Hospital Saturday morning.
Flanked by lines of medical staff, law enforcement, family members, friends and other emergency responders, Officer Stephen Summers walked out of the west entrance of the hospital to heavy applause.
He was reunited in the parking lot with K9 Samson, who showed visible excitement and leaped on him as K9 trainer Detective Seargent Tracy Murphy stood by.
Summers, who has been with the Centralia Police Department as an officer for more than five years, was paired with the dog in 2019.
Summers was among the members of local law enforcement who responded after Pierce County detectives attempted to arrest a 32-year-old child rape suspect in the 400 block of Northeast Adams Avenue in Chehalis just after 10 a.m. on Friday.
When confronted by Pierce County detectives, the suspect appeared to reach for a weapon and one of the Pierce County detectives discharged their firearm, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect then fled on foot.
“Area law enforcement agencies began to respond and a K9 track ensued,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
K9 Samson located the suspect in the 100 block of Southwest Alfred Street in Chehalis at about 12:15 p.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office.
“While making contact with the suspect, a Centralia police officer was stabbed in the head and back area. Officers from the Centralia Police Department then discharged their firearms, striking the suspect. The suspect was declared deceased on scene despite lifesaving efforts,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s department, which is investigating the incident.
The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the name of the deceased suspect.
Summers, who was identified as the injured officer Friday night, was taken from the scene to Providence Centralia Hospital for surgery, according to the sheriff’s office.
Photographs from the scene captured by The Chronicle showed Summers bloodied as emergency responders tended to his wounds, which were visible on his head and back. He wore a bandage around his head as he left the hospital on Saturday morning.
Summers was recognized by the community in The Chronicle’s “20 Under 40” special section acknowledging exceptional young professionals in Lewis County in 2020. He was asked about a defining moment in his career.
“The most defining moment in my career so far was PSD Samson’s first apprehension,” he said at the time. “After the track, I came to appreciate all the hard work and time that PSD Samson and I have put in to become successful. I came to realize that becoming a K9 handler was the right choice for me and my career.”
While the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is the primary agency for the independent investigation of Friday’s incident, the Chehalis Police Department, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol are assisting with the investigation.
Anyone with information on Friday’s incident should contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286.