TUMWATER, Wash. — Prosecutors in Thurston County say a man who was told to put on a mask inside of a Fred Meyer in Tumwater pulled a gun on a shopper Thursday.
According to prosecutors, the victim told police he was shopping in the produce section when he saw a man not wearing a mask. The victim told police he approached the man and told him to “put a mask on like the rest of us,” prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, the man said he thought the COVID-19 pandemic was a hoax, explained he wasn’t going to wear a mask and told the victim to get away from him.
After arguing, prosecutors said the man pulled his .22-caliber revolver from its holster, pointed it at the victim’s sternum, said “get the f--- away” and threatened to shoot him.
When police arrived at the store, prosecutors said they told the man they needed to disarm him “for everyone’s safety.”
The man said “no” and police took him to the ground, prosecutors said.
Video sent to KIRO 7 from Bernie Friedman shows the struggle with police:
According to prosecutors, the man then attempted to grab his own gun during the struggle and told police, “You’re not getting my gun.” The man continued to fight and even grabbed at the vest of one of the officers in an attempt to bite him, prosecutors said.
Police twice tried to use a stun gun on the man, but the attempts were unsuccessful. Ultimately, prosecutors said it took five officers to take him into custody.
Prosecutors said police spoke to the man’s mother, who was inside the store, about the arrest. When police told her he pointed a gun at the victim, prosecutors said she replied, “Well he did.”
Prosecutors are requesting second-degree assault, third-degree assault and resisting arrest charges.
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