TACOMA -- One man was shot and a Tacoma couple were hog-tied and pistol-whipped in a home invasion robbery Tuesday.
Two suspects escaped and were on the loose. Two cars involved in the home invasion were found abandoned by authorities Tuesday night -- one was in Renton, and the other was in Tacoma. The vehicle found in Renton had been burned.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said the thieves targeted a couple living in the 8300 block of 19th Avenue Ct. E. in Tacoma. The thieves were looking for a large amount of cash because they knew a close family member owned a marijuana dispensary, detectives said.
Two thieves entered the home. “Duct-taped the homeowner. While they were doing that, the girlfriend showed up and did the same thing to her,” Pierce County sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer said.
Detectives say the thieves left the home with the couple bruised and tied up -- that`s when the couple’s friend in an Audi drove up.
“Vehicle confrontation started -- what we call a rolling gun battle because multiple shots were fired from both sides,” Troyer said.
The shootout happened blocks away from the house, not far from an elementary school. The school was put on lockdown after the gun battle.
“If those people had turned in the other direction, they would have had a gun battle in front of the school. Instead it was behind the school and we are lucky that, you know, something worse did not happen here,” Troyer said.
The man driving the Audi stopped along Portland Avenue East after he was shot several times. His condition was not immediately released.
The suspects escaped.
"There is a good possibility that we have a suspect vehicle out there, either multiple gunshots in it and (occupants) possibly hurt inside,” Troyer said.
The suspects stole a car from the driveway of the home. They could be in a white or light-colored Suburban SUV. Detectives are looking into whether there is a third suspect who was acting as a lookout.
Detectives also are investigating whether the people behind the home invasion were involved in another robbery just three weeks ago in University Place.
In that incident, 72-year-old Mable Miller poked her head outside her front door when two robbers barged in and hit her on the head with a gun.
She said the crooks kept asking where the dope money was. When she told them they had the wrong house, they terrorized her and ransacked her place. That's when they forced her to the ground, and hog-tied her with a telephone cord. Miller was found in the closet.