SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — Seattle police reported a 29-year-old man died after he attempted to rob the King Smoke Shop in the Ballard neighborhood and was subsequently shot by the store owner.
The incident happened on Monday at 4 p.m., according to KOMO. The Seattle Police Department was alerted about a shooting outside the smoke shop.
According to Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz, the suspect entered the shop and attempted to rob it at gunpoint, shooting an employee.
The 38-year-old employee returned fire and killed the suspect. The suspect was found dead outside the store.
An eyewitness who did not want to be identified said, “We saw this individual turn the corner, and as he turned the corner, he fell to the ground,” and “He fell face down and the gun in his left hand fell to the pavement. I turned the corner and called 911 right away.”
Community members rendered first aid to the injured employee, who was taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the hospital said that his condition had improved to satisfactory. The shooting caused collateral damage to a nearby dental office, where a bullet struck a chair in the waiting room. Fortunately, no one inside the dentist office was hurt.
Customers of King Smoke Shop like Rudy Pantoja expressed concern for the injured employee and spoke highly of the store owner, saying that he “cares about the neighborhood, just a great guy.”