Suspect killed, employee injured after shots fired during robbery attempt in Ballard

SEATTLE — Police are investigating after a suspect was killed and one person was injured during an apparent robbery in Ballard on Monday evening, according to the Seattle Police Department.

Just after 4 p.m., officers responded to a reported shooting at King Smoke Shop in the 7700 block of 15th Avenue Northwest.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found two men with gunshot wounds — an employee inside the business and a man outside the store.

Police say their preliminary investigation indicates that a 29-year-old man attempted to rob the store, then shot a 38-year-old employee. That employee then fired back, striking and injuring the suspect, who left the store after the shots were fired.

Community members provided aid to the employee, using their belts as a tourniquet, before police arrived. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for multiple non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Police attempted to provide lifesaving aid to the suspect, but he died at the scene.

SPD homicide detectives responded and will lead the investigation.

“It was kind of shocking, mostly because it happened during the day and with so much activity right around here,” said Regina Fontaine, who owns Pour Decisions across the street from the smoke shop.

Her business has been open for a year and has been burglarized, but Fontaine said violence isn’t something she or her neighbors usually see.

“There was a gentleman over here that owns a property that unfortunately, he was showing to a tenant, and he lost that possible tenant because they saw the police cars and were a little bit worried and upset. And it’s really a shame because it’s not like that here,” said Fontaine.

The attempted robbery happened as smoke shops continue to be targeted by robbers.

Seattle police are still looking for three men who robbed a West Seattle smoke shop at gunpoint on Saturday.

In Tacoma, police are looking for two serial armed robbers who robbed six smoke shops in less than a week.