A Lake Stevens father said he was forced to fight off an armed intruder he and his son found hiding in their garage Friday.
The evidence he found in the aftermath made him believe that man may have been looking to ambush him.
Now the intruder is in custody, but that Lake Stevens dad says he found nearly a dozen weapons strategically placed throughout his garage.
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Shane McDaniel owns Norm’s Market -- a minimart and keg-and-bottle shop in Lake Stevens.
He said he came to check on the garage and workshop with his adult son, because his mother called and said someone had been working in the yard and garage all day Friday. She thought it might’ve been an employee, but said the man kept looking over at her and seemed suspicious.
Outside the garage, the intruder had pulled together many large slabs of wood – McDaniel said, apparently trying to form some kind of barricade.
But when he, his son and his son’s friend walked inside, that’s when the real trouble started and the intruder attacked.
“It's really a bizarre scene. And the scary thing is somebody could be that comfortable, and set up an ambush point in your own garage,” McDaniel said.
He said when they walked in, the door was open.
“He was hiding behind the door here and then he had another knife over here,” McDaniel said. He said the suspect kept reaching inside his coat and appeared to be reaching for a gun.
“He tosses the knife down with this one and he continues to reach so I fired the warning shot off to the side,” McDaniel said.
He said the suspect didn’t give up
“Then he just goes into full combat fight, he's going to fight all of us,” McDaniel said.
He said they got into a fight but he and his son were able to pin down the suspect.
McDaniel said at least a dozen law enforcement units arrived and ended up arresting the intruder. They also questioned McDaniel about the gunshots he fired.
Only after the arrest did McDaniel and his family notice everything the intruder did while inside his garage – and all the weapons strategically placed around workshop.
“He had a machete here that he brought with him,” McDaniel said. “He had a claw hammer. These are all his knives, he’s got a knife here, another one here,” he said pointing to all the knives.
McDaniel said they use the garage and workshop to refurbish wheelchairs and electric scooters they dondate to people in need.
Those wheelchairs – about seven or eight of them - were all arranged in a sort of circle and many of the knives were sitting on the chairs.
“There is no way you'd have seen all knives stationed all around, machetes hammers axes. He made an ambush trap,” McDaniel said.
On one of the chairs, McDaniel said the suspect also left a syringe.
“He's probably sitting in here paranoid out of his mind, so he's got these weapons and he's ready for combat,” McDaniel said.
There were also beams with nails sticking out at the end, wires attached to the ceiling, a fort-type structure with car jumper cables attached to it, and a bong left behind by the intruder.
McDaniel believes the suspect camped out in the garage for at least a day or two. He said the suspect even changed the lock to this door and wrote his last name – Simpson - on the outside of the door, making himself at home.
“Do you think things would've turned out differently if you didn't have your firearm?” KIRO7’s Deedee Sun asked.
“Oh I think definitely, he's got this place laden with weapons. So I think that would've been a good way to get stabbed,” McDaniel said.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t confirmed the identity of the suspect yet, but it appears he has been booked into the Snohomish County jail.
McDaniel said he's just glad his mother noticed something strange going on and the intruder wasn't able to ambush someone defenseless.
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