Officer Allshaw had responded to a call of a robbery in progress at Pinehurst I.G.A grocery store, 11522 15th Avenue NE, in Seattle's north end. He managed to apprehend one suspect who, along with two confederates, had taken the store owner and some customers hostage. One robber told Allshaw to release the prisoner and exchanged shots with the officer. Allshaw pursued the suspect, using his prisoner as a shield. Other officers arrived, unaware of Allshaw, who was unaware of them. Another officer saw what he believed to be one person approaching with a gun and he fired his shotgun. The suspect in front of Allshaw ducked and Allshaw was struck by the blast.