A 7-Eleven customer with a concealed carry permit shot and killed a masked hatchet-wielding man in Washington state on Sunday morning.
The incident occurred around 5:45 a.m. at a 7-Eleven in King County, Washington, just south of Seattle, according to KCPQ-TV. The convenience store’s clerk, a 58-year-old Seattle man, told investigators that the masked man immediately began to swing the hatchet towards a customer as he entered the store before turning towards the clerk. Although the clerk suffered minor injuries to his stomach during the encounter, the concealed permit-carrying customer stopped any further violence by whipping out his pistol and firing at the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene after the medics arrived.
The pistol carrier, a 60-year-old man from Seattle whose name has not yet been publicly released, was not injured during the incident, according to KING-TV. Although authorities are conducting an investigation into the incident, its initial stages have revealed no wrongdoing on the part of the shooter, who was carrying a valid concealed carry license at the time.
— Mary (@doubledittos) March 13, 2016
“[The] customer, the shooter, is shaken up but from everything that we see right now from the scene – there’s no wrongdoing on his part,” King County Sheriff Sgt. Cindi West told KING. “In fact, he probably saved a life in this case.”
West also told KING that the shooter is a regular at the 7-Eleven store.
“There’s a chair that sits really close to the clerk’s counter. He was sitting back there having his morning coffee,” West said. “The guy came in with a mask just swinging the hatchet at both of them … Fortunately, because of this customer with his weapon, this could have been a lot worse. The clerk could be the one laying there dead on the floor right now and fortunately he’s not, thanks to the customer.”
The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, is believed to be in his 40s, according to KING. Medics said that the suspect said nothing from the time he first entered the store to the time he was shot.
“We don’t know if the intent was to commit a robbery because the suspect didn’t say anything,” West said, according to KOMO-TV.
This case will be forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s office to determine whether or not any charges will be filed.
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter
Front-page image via Shutterstock