SEATTLE -- On the day marijuana became legal in Washington, two masked intruders were killed at a luxury home near Puyallup where marijuana was being grown, the Pierce County sheriff's office said.
The homeowner said he was defending himself - and his pot - when he shot and killed the two intruders in the Summit area of Puyallup near HIghway 512. While it may be legal to smoke marijuana, it's still against the law to grow it, and police say the homeowner found out it's a very dangerous endeavor.
Police say the 35-year-old homeowner called 911 just before 8 a.m. to report the break-in. Minutes later, he called back saying there had been a shooting.
When deputies arrived minutes later at the expensive, secluded house, they found two men dead on the floor of a six-car garage where marijuana was growing in the loft.
"Dark clothing, hoodies, bandanas over their faces, handguns at their feet," said spokesman Ed Troyer. They also wore ski masks and backpacks.
Detectives think the homeowner was targeted for the "substantial" pot growing in the home. Police said it was "way beyond" the amount someone would have for a medical supply.
"I'm just speechless that something like that would happen around the corner," said neighbor Linda Clark.
The 35-year-old homeowner and his 9-year-old son who was inside at the time were unharmed.
If the homeowner acted in self defense, he won't be charged with any crime, but growing the marijuana could be another matter. The law that took effect Thursday made it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use; however, it is still against the law to grow marijuana at home unless you are an authorized medical marijuana patient. The state is still working to set up regulations for growers, processors and retail stores.
"I know this is the first day of legal marijuana in the state," Troyer said. "But, if you're going to grow weed, people are still trying to go and try to take it.”
Police say what happened at the house is proof if you grow it, you could easily inadvertently inviting the wrong kind of person to your home.