KIRKLAND, Wash. - Surveillance video shows suspects with masks and guns assault a Kirkland pot shop employee and even force a customer to help them load up stolen marijuana.
In the video, the two men can be seen barging into Higher Leaf off Willows Road in Kirkland at 10:30 p.m. Monday, just before closing time.
“There's nothing about this that wasn't scary,” Higher Leaf manager Lizzie Maslen told KIRO 7 on Tuesday morning, just hours after it happened.
The video shows one suspect punch a Higher Leaf employee when he couldn’t unlock the back office door. Two other employees were in the office, heard the commotion, locked the door, and called 911.
“They were already on the phone with KPD,” Maslen said. “And already had the panic button that they had activated.”
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The thieves were out the door in minutes with thousands of dollars in cash and products. Outside video shows a customer walk after a suspect who ran by. The customer can be scene reacting to a gunshot, though he wasn't hit. Security cameras didn’t get a good look at their getaway vehicle.
Kirkland police found a bullet casing and three marijuana products the suspects dropped. The employees and customers were shaken up, but are just fine.
“I couldn't be more proud of them,” Maslen said. “We've gone over this scenario, we train them all the time on what do you do. We train them all the time on these panic buttons and the protocol. And they followed it to the T. We could not have asked them to do anything different. The two people on the floor are combat veterans, and it showed.”
Higher Leaf was back open for business early Tuesday morning.
“In fact, our first customer today was the father of one of the customers here last night,” Higher Leaf owner Molly Honig told KIRO 7. “He came in just to show his support.”
Honig owns the Higher Leaf-- she says they'll review security procedures and hopes somebody can help identify the suspects.
“I think the team was amazing and kept their cool,” she said.
“And I don’t know how to move forward but we’ll continue to have that conversation and keep it aware."
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