Authorities: Washington officer shot, taken to hospital

A police officer was shot and critically wounded Thursday about 60 miles north of Seattle in Mount Vernon, authorities said.

A Mount Vernon police officer was initially taken to Skagit Valley Hospital Thursday evening, The Skagit Valley Herald ( reported. The officer, believed to be in his early 60s, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Thursday night with a gunshot wound to the head, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg. She said the officer was in the early stages of assessment at about 9:50 p.m.

Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said police had few details to immediately release but that the area was closed by police and multiple news outlets were reporting that a suspect was barricaded in a Mount Vernon residence and that officers and a SWAT team were attempting to negotiate.

Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis tweeted that the scene was still active just before 10 p.m.

Skagit Valley College said Thursday night that because of police activity the Mount Vernon campus was in lockdown. The school tweeted "everyone get inside and stay inside."

The shooting comes less than a month after a Tacoma police officer was killed responding to a domestic violence call. Officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez, 45, was fatally shot Nov. 30. The suspected gunman was killed by a sheriff's marksman, ending an 11-hour standoff.