Sidewalk heroes take down masked gunman wanted in robbery, shooting

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SEATTLE —

A gunman fleeing a downtown jewelry store robbery shot a hotel security guard who was in pursuit, before the guard knocked the suspect to the ground and bystanders piled on.

 

A KIRO 7 Eyewitness News photojournalist was in the middle of it all.  Eric Alexander was nearby, at the federal courthouse on another assignment, when he heard shots.  He began recording before the sound of gunfire ended, capturing video of the chaotic scene as good Samaritans pinned the suspect down, secured his gun and police rushed to the scene.

 

The hotel security guard, Roberto Sandoval, was shot in the hand and was taken to Harborview Medical Center.  He was listed in satisfactory condition Friday evening.

 

The suspect, 35-year-old Edmond Maynor, was booked into the King County jail on suspicion of felony robbery and felony assault.

 

KIRO 7 learned on Friday evening that Maynor's first court appearance will be set for Saturday.

 

It all began with the robbery of Express Jewelers, a store on the second floor of Westlake Mall, at about 10:30 a. m. Friday.

 

Witnesses said the robber fired at the owner inside the store, then twice more as the owner chased after him.

 

The robber ran out, past the Mayflower Park Hotel, where Roberto Sandoval was working.

 

"I looked out and employees from the Mayflower and Andaluca were running down the street," said Renee Smrstik, who manages a store across the street.

 

There were more gunshots, and KIRO 7 photojournalist Eric Alexander ran towards them.  At 7th Avenue and Stewart Street, Alexander came upon Sandoval fighting with the robber, who was still wearing his mask.

 

One witness, Luke Bradshaw, described the encounter between the masked gunman and the man who chased him down.

 

"A guy with a mask came up to the guy right there (the injured man) and he threatened him, I think it was with a gun, and he chased him down. He wasn't scared, and he grabbed him. The guy with the gun shot him -- and he still tackled him and held him down until people came to help him," Bradshaw said.

 

A swarm of other good Samaritans tackled the man and held him until Seattle police officers could arrive and get him into handcuffs.

 

Alexander's video showed the injured security officer, in obvious pain, and the crowd atop the suspect at 7th Avenue and Stewart Street.

 

Someone secured the gun by standing on it. A box of rings lay on the ground nearby.

 

The video showed a rubber mask as well.  Police placed the gun on top of the mask as they gathered evidence at the scene.

 

Real Change vendor Merlyn Parker said he helped hold down the suspect until officers arrived.

 

“(The robber) came out, and the security guards came after him and he shot at them, and he shot one of my friends.   A bunch of us took him down to the ground,” said Parker.

 

During the melee, Parker was temporarily restrained while police tried to sort out what was happening.

 

Parker said he wasn’t scared during the struggle.

 

“This is my area, and I’m going to help protect the people I love and care about,” said Parker, who was visibly shaken by the incident.

 

Stewart Street was closed between 5th and 7th avenues while police interviewed witnesses and determined there were no other suspects.