(SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE: Police have just posted their account – we’ve added it)
(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
7:49 PM: We finally have a bit of information about the big police response that’s drawn tips and questions the past hour and a half. The first tipster thought they were seeing something “undercover” around California/Juneau, so we headed out and saw police at two scenes, the tense “guns-drawn” situation in the photo above (which we photographed with a zoom lens), just north of California-Brandon, where someone was ordered out of a car and then cuffed:
Further south, there were multiple cars outside the building that is home to a medical-marijuana dispensary, and while you can’t see it from this angle, police were inside – the door is set back from the street (the building is not in our angle either, it’s immediately south) – talking with people:
Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams tells WSB that since officers are still out, full details aren’t available yet but it is reported to have been a robbery or attempted robbery; three people are in custody (according to later scanner traffic, two are juveniles, one is an adult), and up to two more suspects may still be at large. Lt. Williams says robbery and CSI detectives are responding to investigate now. There is no indication anyone is hurt, and no information yet about whether anything was taken.
10:28 PM UPDATE: More information from Lt. Williams, now confirming it was a robbery: “The suspects’ did take some property of the dispensary and personal property of at least one person inside. At least some of the property taken was recovered by officers. The detectives are continuing their investigation.” (We just drove past the scene, on our way back from two other stories, and saw two police cars still parked outside the building on California.)
SUNDAY MORNING, 9:17 AM: SPD Blotter has just posted a summary of what they say happened:
On March 19th, shortly after 6:00 PM, three suspects entered a licensed medical marijuana dispensary located in the 5400 Block of California Avenue SW. Also inside the business were three employees and two customers. The three suspects were asked by employees to leave, as they were not there to purchase anything. At that point, the suspects pulled out handguns and proceeded to restrain everyone in the store and rob them. The suspects then fled the store on foot. The employees of the business were able to free themselves and gave chase. They managed to catch two of the suspects a few blocks away. In his haste to get away, one of the suspects dropped his handgun and some stolen items in the alley. Responding officers arrested the two suspects and then located and arrested the third suspect a short distance away. In all, two handguns, the victim’s wallets and money and stolen marijuana were all recovered. Robbery and CSI detectives responded to the location to process the scene. All of the suspects were interviewed by detectives. The 24 year old male was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery. The other suspects, ages 16 and 17, were booked into the Youth Services Center for Investigation of Robbery. Robbery detectives will have the responsibility for the continuing investigation.