PUYALLUP, Wash. — Police say two of three men who planned on burglarizing an apartment or robbing its occupant were shot by the tenant in Puyallup.
Police say it happened at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday at the Riverside Park Apartments in the 3100 block of East Main Avenue.
Investigators said arriving officers found a “very chaotic scene” outside the building with reports of people and vehicles fleeing the area.
The victims, both in their early 20s, were found in different locations.
“We located a male subject down on the ground off the edge of the roadway. We also located a second subject suffering from gunshot wounds at an apartment complex at the back of that complex nearby,” said Puyallup Police Chief Scott Engle.
Both were taken to a local trauma center in serious condition.
Police said an initial investigation leads them to believe that the two men who were shot went to the Riverside Park Apartments with a third man to commit a burglary or home invasion robbery.
The three were said to be armed when they entered an unlocked apartment, where a 19-year-old man, who was asleep on the couch, woke up and immediately began firing at the intruders. Two of the men were shot several times.
The intruders then fled and tried to make it to a car in a nearby parking lot.
Police said the tenant who shot the men initially fled afterward, but later returned, gave his weapon to police and is cooperating with investigators.
Police believe the shooting was not a random act of violence.
“The folks in the apartment have a connection with at least one of the people who were (there) and our investigators will have to put those pieces together,” said Engle.
A man and a woman were also in the back bedroom of the apartment when the shots were fired.
Detectives are evaluating forensic evidence, witness statements and are working to confirm the identities of those who may be connected to the crime.
Investigators said they will evaluate the tenant’s claim of self-defense to make sure it was within state law. They are also speaking with the suspects.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Puyallup Police tip line at 253-770-3343.