PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A burglary in Pierce County turned into a kidnapping situation on Wednesday when a victim walked into a crime in progress.
The incident started just after 10 a.m. in the 8700 block of 18th Avenue East in Midland.
According to deputies, a homeowner received a Ring doorbell camera notification that someone was at his home, so he asked a friend to stop by and check in.
Aiden Bullock drove over and said he saw someone coming out from a side door.
“This dude just pops his head out, and I look at him, and I’m like, ‘Hey!’ And all of a sudden, I see my buddy’s AR-15 in his hands,” Bullock said.
“The first thought in my mind was, ‘Oh, s---. How do I keep this dude from shooting me?’” he said.
Bullock said the man took his phone out of his hands — all at gunpoint.
“He’s sweating. He’s nervous. He’s twitching all over the place,” Bullock said. “I kind of feel bad for him but, at the same time, those twitchy fingers are pretty close to the trigger,” he said.
I just tried to talk him down, and I was like, ‘Hey, man. Everything is OK? Just tell me what’s going on. How can I help you?’” Bullock said.
Bullock convinced the suspect to take the stolen items — a duffel bag full of stuff and a safe — and leave.
“I really commend him for being as brave as he was. He was able to talk the suspect out of doing any harm to him,” Moss said.
But the suspect still had the gun — and that’s when Bullock decided to follow him.
“I yell at him, ‘Hey, you need to leave that gun!’” Bullock said. “I couldn’t, in good conscience, let him walk around the neighborhood with a loaded rifle,” he said.
The suspect ditched the safe about a block away.
Then, Bullock actually managed to get the suspect to put down the weapon.
“At which point, I pull my gun out. Because I was carrying the whole time,” he said.
Shortly after, Bullock said the suspect started reaching, and he thought the man was going for the gun.
“I fired off a warning shot into the ditch next to him because I didn’t want to shoot the guy,” Bullock said. “He grabbed the duffel bag and said, ‘You won’t shoot me!’ And started running away,” he said.
That’s when Bullock called 911. He had also got his phone back from the suspect.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department stated the suspect tried to hide in a tree line nearby, but deputies spotted him.
Moss said it’s incredibly lucky that no one got hurt.
“We ask people to try to not handle things on their own. I know everything worked out in the end on this one,” Moss said. “It could’ve gone really badly,” he said.
The 28-year-old suspect was arrested on charges of kidnapping for forcing Bullock inside at gunpoint, as well as around the house. He’s also charged with burglary and robbery.
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