SEATTLE — A robbery suspect is dead and another person is left with serious injuries after a shooting in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood Monday afternoon, according to the Seattle Police Department.
Police responded to King Smoke Shop at 7758 15th Ave NW just after 4 p.m. to a report of a man shot outside of the business. When officers arrived they discovered the co-owner of the business had also been shot.
Seattle police said it appears a 30-year-old male suspect entered the business and attempted to rob the store. The suspect shot at the employee who returned fire.
Police attempted life-saving measures on the suspect but he died at the scene.
Community members came to the aid of the business owner by making tourniquets out of belts while waiting for medics to arrive. The 38-year-old man was taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition.
A Ballard resident and longtime customer of the shop arrived on scene shortly after the incident. The victim's brother-- a co-owner of King Smoke Shop-- embraced him upon seeing him.
The victim's brother informed him that the victim is "doing better," according to the man.
"I came up to talk to him, and I just asked if it was family, and he said 'Yeah, it's family,'" said the customer, Jason Lee. "I could see it in his eyes, I knew it was his brother... these are two that actually, like, they really care about each other."
When the crime occurred, a man driving on 15th Avenue Northwest said he was stopped at the intersection and saw the incident play out.
"I was at that red light, making a right turn, and the individual, as you can see where the police standing right now, that's where he fell," said the man, who preferred not to share his name. "So literally like feet away from me."
The witness told KING 5, "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."
That witness said he called 911, and that police were there in a matter of minutes.
Police are hopeful community members may have helped save the store owner's life.
"We're very grateful for community members actually providing-- uh, they actually used belts to provide some life-saving measures," Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said. "And then the officers replaced them with tourniquets."
Lee said the 38-year-old victim is loved by the community.
"A lot of people see a smoke shop and they want to think, 'Bad place,'" Lee said. "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 said of the shop's owners. "And it's sad to see this happening."
He is hopeful the victim will recover.
As of their preliminary investigation, police said it appeared there was only one suspect: the man who died.
Diaz added that it's unclear exactly what he was allegedly attempting to steal from the smoke shop.