Suspect arrested after WinCo employee shot, police say

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A shopper suspected of shooting and injuring a WinCo employee, after an argument over alcohol, was arrested late Thursday, Federal Way police said.

The shooting happened just before 1 p.m. at the WinCo store located at 160 Southwest Campus Driver, while the store was full of customers.

KIRO 7 spoke with some employees who said the victim was a security guard who worked in loss prevention. The 30-year-old was called to remove a drunk and belligerent customer when cashiers refused to sell the man alcohol.

Police said that while the security guard was trying to escort the customer out, the customer pulled out a pistol and shot the guard in the chest inside the store, near the entrance.

The store worker, who is expected to survive, was taken by paramedics to a waiting airlift near the store and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

Nearby detectives dusted items inside a grocery cart for prints. Law enforcement believes the suspect had loaded a cart full of items and pushed it to a nearby stairwell, where he got away.

The stairwell was strewed with items from the store.

The mother of a WinCo worker told KIRO 7 that she believed the store to be a safe place. “I come here and shop so. This is my place I shop at too, so.”

When asked had she ever been concerned before, she replied: “No!, not at all. I never ever heard anything like this could ever happen here.”

But other workers told KIRO 7 that the parking lot is the scene of frequent car break-ins.

KIRO 7 noticed that a surveillance tower looms over the lot, intended to help prevent vehicle prowls.

“We have cameras in the store. I had a vehicle stolen from here,” one person told KIRO 7.

During the incident, nearby schools were also placed on lockdown.

A K-9 was used to track the suspect, but he could not be found until much later.

Police said they arrested a 24-year-old man “responsible for the shooting at WinCo this afternoon.”

He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the King County Jail for first-degree assault.

The investigation remains ongoing.