PARKLAND, Wash. — A Parkland homeowner suffered multiple gunshots after he held a suspect at gunpoint as the suspect attempted to break into his family’s vehicle.
KIRO 7 News spoke with Sgt. Darren Moss, public information officer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Friday.
Moss said the incident happened on 146th Street Court South in Parkland Thursday at about 10:34 p.m.
A caller told deputies that someone was trying to break into their family’s vehicle.
Her husband went outside and held the suspect at gunpoint, she told deputies.
Around 25 seconds into the call, Moss said, the woman heard gunshots.
Deputies arrived at the scene and found her husband suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
He was treated for his non-life-threatening injuries.
The victim told deputies that there were three suspects involved, and they ran away heading west.
It’s not clear at this time, which suspect shot the victim.
NEIGHBOR WITNESSED SHOOTING:
KIRO 7 News spoke with a neighbor, who heard yelling and later witnessed the shooting.
“Honestly, I was pretty scared,” said Junior Payopay.
Payopay said he moved into the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago.
He was relaxing at home with his loved one when the incident unfolded.
“I come up to the kitchen and look outside and see this guy out here pointing his gun.” He added, “They were screaming at each other and started shooting at each other.”
Payopay said he didn’t see all three suspects, but he saw one wearing a clown mask.
“When I see the guy pop out with a mask, I instantly guessed off the bat he was the bad guy.” He added, “It’s not Halloween yet. He had to be doing something sketchy.”
The suspects escaped in a second vehicle.
EVIDENCE LEFT BEHIND:
However, the suspects left several key pieces of evidence near the scene.
A white Hyundai Sonata was still running with its doors open.
Deputies said the vehicle was reported stolen out of Seattle.
The victim had told deputies the two suspects arrived at the scene in the vehicle.
Deputies told KIRO 7 News they also found two handguns underneath a neighbor’s wheelbarrow, along with a clown mask in the middle of the street, which one of the suspects wore, the victim told deputies.
Deputies said the young suspects wore dark clothes and one wore a blue hoodie.
Deputies are searching for possible DNA of the suspects on the evidence left behind.
“It takes a long time to get DNA to come back. But when we do find who our suspects are, we can compare their DNA to the DNA we can locate on the master guns,” Sgt. Darren Moss said.
Moss said while the suspects are responsible for the shooting, he also asked people to not engage with criminals and to report it to authorities.
“It’s very very dangerous. We don’t want people to contact suspects when they see a crime occurring. We want you to call, report it, and be a good witness. If you do happen to go outside and you try to confront them, understand the dangerousness of what you’re doing. Because the last thing we want is for someone to get hurt. I’m not blaming the victim for what occurred. It’s definitely not their fault. It’s the suspects’ fault.”
KIRO 7 News asked Moss about youth violence and what he has seen over the past years.
He said most suspects involved in armed robberies, stolen vehicles, and burglaries within his experience in law enforcement are between the age of 14 and 24.
“This group is doing way more crime than they ever have. The seriousness of the crimes. Never seen anything like this in my entire career. I worked in California for three years, in San Diego, a big city. I didn’t see a lot of kids doing it back then. And being 12 years in Pierce County, I have never seen this many shootings and robberies, involving such young people,” he shared with KIRO 7 News.
If you have any details that may help deputies find the suspects, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, where you can remain anonymous.
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