Tuesday 28 February 2023

Armed crook tries to rob Seattle smoke shop, opens fire at co-owner. But wounded victim is armed, too — and blows crook away.

 An armed man tried to rob a Seattle smoke shop last week and opened fire at the store's co-owner. But the wounded co-owner was armed as well and returned fire, killing the would-be robber.

Image source: KING-TV video screenshot

What are the details?

Seattle police said a 30-year-old male entered King Smoke Shop at 7758 15th Ave NW just after 4 p.m. last Monday and tried to rob the store, KING-TV reported.

The station said the suspect shot at the employee who returned fire.

Police responded to the scene regarding a report of a man shot, KING said, adding that arriving officers attempted life-saving measures on the suspect who died at the scene.

Officers discovered the shop's co-owner also was shot, the station said.

Community members made tourniquets out of belts for the co-owner while waiting for medics to arrive, KING said, adding that the 38-year-old man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.

'I could see it in his eyes'

When an area resident and longtime customer of the shop arrived at the scene afterward, the station said the victim's brother — also a co-owner of the shop — embraced the customer.

KING reported that the customer said the brother told him the victim was "doing better."

Image source: KING-TV video screenshot

"I came up to talk to him, and I just asked if it was family, and he said 'Yeah, it's family,'" the customer, Jason Lee, recounted to the station. "I could see it in his eyes; I knew it was his brother ... they really care about each other."

Witness says he saw suspect fall to ground

Another man who preferred to remain anonymous told KING he was in his car when he saw the suspect fall to the ground.

"I was at that red light, making a right turn, and the individual, as you can see where the police [are] standing right now, that's where he fell," the man told the station. "So literally like feet away from me."

Image source: KING-TV video screenshot

The man added to KING that "the guy came stumbling out with a gun in his left hand, and he fell face-first onto the sidewalk, or into the parking lot right here. And as he fell, the gun left his hand."

He added to the station that he called 911, and police were on the scene in a matter of minutes.

Police praise community members

"We're very grateful for community members [who] ... actually used belts to provide some life-saving measures," Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said, according to KING. "And then the officers replaced them with tourniquets."

Lee added to the station that the community loves the shop's wounded co-owner.

"A lot of people see a smoke shop, and they want to think, 'Bad place,'" Lee noted to KING. "This is one that, to me — I can't speak for other smoke shops — but this is not a bad place. I think a lot of the Ballard community, whether they want to admit it or not, frequent this place a lot themselves."

"Good people," Lee added to the station in regard to the shop's owners. "And it's sad to see this happening."

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