WinCo employee shot by customer in Federal Way

Police arrested the 24-year-old suspect on Sept. 9.

A WinCo Foods employee was shot in the chest last Thursday by a man who was denied from purchasing alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated, police say.

At about 1 p.m. Sept. 9, officers and South King Fire & Rescue personnel responded to reports of a shooting near the 160 block of SW Campus Drive in Federal Way, according to Cmdr. Kurt Schwan of Federal Way Police.

On scene, officers located a 30-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the upper chest. Police were told the suspect fled the scene on foot, Schwan said.

Police arrested the 24-year-old man responsible for the shooting on the afternoon of Sept. 9. He was found at an apartment complex near where the incident occurred and was taken into custody without incident after 11 p.m. Sept. 9, Schwan said.

The man was booked at King County Jail on first-degree assault charges. The Mirror does not name suspects until they have been charged in court.

Early investigation revealed that the victim is an employee of the grocery store and was shot when he was escorting the suspect out of the store after staff denied the suspect from purchasing alcohol, Schwan said. The suspect appeared to be intoxicated, Schwan added.

A safety lock down was implemented at Panther Lake Elementary School during the incident. Police conducted a K-9 search for the suspect through the nearby Panther Lake Apartments and greenbelt near the grocery store.

Airlift Northwest transported the patient with life-threatening injuries to Harborview Medical Center, but he is expected to survive, Schwan said.

The flight from the landing zone at the former Weyerhaeuser site in Federal Way to Harborview is about 8 minutes, said Nick Vail, a spokesperson for Airlift Northwest.

Mayor Jim Ferrell said city officials and police are aware of the recent increase in crime throughout Federal Way.

“We have noticed an unacceptable increase in violence gun crime in our community and in our region, and specially in our city,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to address this spike in violence.”

There have been four other recent shootings in Federal Way. On Sept. 3, an officer was ambushed and shot at by an unknown suspect. On Sept. 6, two men were shot near a Federal Way grocery store. On Sept. 7, a man was shot in the leg and the suspect was not located.

In recent weeks, the city implemented emphasis patrols in high-offense areas, and plans to continue these efforts.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make Federal Way safer,” Ferrell said “We’re going to utilize every strategy that we have.”

The mayor has placed a recommendation for the Federal Way City Council’s approval to add 13 officers to the police department, which would increase the city’s police force to 150 commissioned officers. The briefing is slated for presentation at the city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 21.