White Center, Washington: Customer Shoots Store Attacker

On Sunday morning, around 5:45 a.m., a customer shot a man carrying a hatchet inside a 7-Eleven store in White Center, Washington.

The man, according to witnesses, was about 40-years-old and was wearing a mask. Reports say that he was silent during the entire ordeal. Authorities learned from several eyewitness accounts that he attacked the store clerk after brandishing his hatchet in front of the customer.

One of the witnesses called King county police immediately, and they were on the scene within minutes. Medics followed the officers’ arrival at the store, where they pronounced the man dead on site.

After their interrogation, investigators determined that the customer who fired the shot had the proper documentation and concealed carry permit. Police did not arrest the customer at the scene.

Sergeant Cindi West, with the sheriff’s department, spoke to the local television station KCPQ, applauding the fact that the customer shot the man, according to reports from Fox 13.

“Fortunately, because of this customer with his weapon, this could have been a lot worse… We believe had this Good Samaritan not acted, we might have a dead clerk on our hands right now.”

The clerk suffered only minor injuries, but West said it could have been a grave situation for the employee.

“The clerk could be the one laying there dead on the floor right now.”

According to reports, the authorities expressed relief that the customer was in the store at the time and was quick to act. However, the prosecutor’s office must make an official review of the incident reports, witness accounts, and proof of the concealed carry permits.

In the meantime, the customer is a free man and may resume his normal routine.

No one identified the attacker, but the county medical examiner’s office will release his name and relevant information as they get it. They will do an official autopsy before giving their statement.

Authorities expressed surprise at the violent attack on the small neighborhood store. They said that this is the first incident of this nature at the store as far as anyone can recall.

Luckily, KATU News says that according to the store owner, the clerk will be fine. However, the customer’s presence when the man entered the store was far from luck.

According to the clerk and the store owner, this particular guy is a regular who comes in the store every morning to buy coffee and visit with the employees, which is what happened on Sunday.

The owner and his employees spoke kindly of the customer who saved the day on Sunday morning. It seems he is well-liked by the small 7-Eleven staff members.

“The customer’s a nice guy… He’s been coming here for about 12 years. He buys scratch tickets, in the morning time. He buys coffee. He’s a good guy.”

The motive of the man with the hatchet is still unknown. He entered the store without a word, and, according to witnesses, remained silent the entire time. It appeared as though he intended to rob the store, since he wore a mask and had a weapon.

Sergeant West had little information due to the man’s silence and could not find a clear, direct motive.

“We don’t know if the intent was to commit a robbery because the suspect didn’t say anything.”

Reports also did not release the name of the customer who saved the life of the White Center 7-Eleven clerk.

[Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images]