Shootout at Elma gas station caught on surveillance video

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

ELMA, Wash. - A father and his young son walked from the pumps into the store unaware of the danger that surrounded them on Saturday in Elma.

Around 1:30 p.m., a violent confrontation over an illegal drug debt played out in the crowed parking lot, police said.

Two women with baseball bats got out of a Jeep, walked over to a truck and started hitting a woman sitting in the vehicle.

A passenger in that truck got out and started firing an airsoft pistol at the Jeep and the Jeep's driver returned fire with a gun shooting frozen paint balls, police said.

In the surveillance video, a customer is about to leave the store and can be seen stopping when she sees and hears the confrontation.

"She was like, oh my God, oh my God," said Keenan Thurston, a customer who was inside the store during the shooting.

Thurston watched in shock as a third man outside pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and started firing as well.  The man with the airsoft pistol was shot twice and a third round shattered the front window of the convenience store.

The shooting left workers and customers shaken.

“It was bad. It was scary. There were people crying," employee Becky Qurin told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

Thurston couldn’t believe even criminals could be so reckless.

"It's the highest level of stupidity to me. You're putting people in danger that have absolutely nothing to do with what's going on," Thurston said.

All the suspects involved in the shooting took off seconds after the gunfire, but they have since been captured and are facing assault charges.

Ricks Scott of the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office said the situation was extremely dangerous and he's stunned no innocent bystanders were hurt.

"It's a miracle. It's a miracle that no one was injured other than the combatants,” Scott said.