PARKLAND, Wash.— Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested a man armed to the teeth and wearing body armor Thursday night who allegedly held several people hostage during a botched robbery.
It all happened at Sky Motors car dealership on Pacific Avenue South in Parkland.
On Friday morning, the dealership’s owner was finally able to survey the damage.
“You can see the shots on top, the random bullet holes on top,” said Sadik Ali. “Then he was moving randomly throughout the offices.”
There are literally dozens of bullet holes riddling his office.
“There are more than 60 bullets inside the building,” said Ali.
It all began around 8 p.m. Thursday when police say the suspect tried robbing a nearby tire store but then ran into a car dealership next door and began shooting his gun.
“I’m like right there and I hear pop, pop, pop and I duck,” said witness Mia Tolman.
Four people were inside the dealership at the time, according to police. Three were able to escape but one couldn’t get out immediately while the suspect continued shooting toward police.
“As soon as he started to reload, he (hostage) took off running and he got out OK,” said witness Naomi Smith.
Police exchanged fire with the gunman, striking him in his body armor and soon took him into custody.
The dealership’s owner says his employees told him the suspect had a bag full of guns and ammunition.
“I’m happy that we’re smiling because it could have been one second and instead of all of us smiling, we’re all crying right now,” said Ali. “Somebody could have got hurt, somebody could have gotten killed.”
At least two cars in the dealership were also struck by bullets. The building next door also was hit by gunfire.
Just how his employees or innocent bystanders weren’t shot during the wild shootout still amazes Ali.
“The guy came ready, he wasn’t unprepared,” he said. “He came ready for the long haul.”
Police say the suspect was evaluated by medics but did not suffer any serious injuries during the exchange of gunfire.
The man was taken to jail and could face a judge on Monday.
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the suspect is 32 years old and has a lengthy record. The department said the man was released from state prison in February after serving a 13-year sentence for robbery.