BOULEVARD PARK, Wash. — A masked man attacked a Boulevard Park 7-Eleven clerk Sunday morning with a hatchet, slicing the clerk’s stomach.
Police say a customer pulled out a gun and shot and killed the attacker. The good Samaritan had been sitting in the store, drinking his regular morning coffee.
The King County Sheriff’s Office responded to the gas station at about 5:45 a.m.
Kuldeep Singh, a clerk at the store, received a gash to his stomach but is OK.
Asked if the suspect hit him, Singh said, “Yes, yes, two three times in here," pointing to his stomach.
Sinhg was working when King County sheriff's deputies say a man with a mask on and a hatchet for wood-cutting walked into the store and, without a word, started swinging the hatchet, hitting the clerk.
The King County Medical Examiner identified the man killed as 43-year-old Steven Blacktongue.
"This could have been disastrous," said Sgt. Cindi West.
It wasn’t -- thanks to a customer who deputies say was also attacked while drinking coffee near the register.
The 60-year-old is a regular customer and a licensed concealed gun carrier, according to the sheriff’s office.
He took out his pistol and shot the suspect, said West.
The man deputies call a good Samaritan was too shaken to speak.
Medics weren't able to revive the suspect.
"Had this [customer] not shot, who knows what would've happened. We might have a dead clerk right now and instead we have a dead bad guy," said West.
Singh said he thought the suspect was going to kill him. He said he is happy. Singh’s friend, who also works at a nearby convenience store, called the customer who shot the suspect "a good guy."
"We do not see any wrongdoing on the part of the customer. In fact, he probably saved lives in this case,” said West.
Boulevard Park-area deputies are calling the customer who killed the attacker a hero.
When asked if the masked man made any demands of the clerk, King County PIO Cindi West said, "What everybody says is that he didn't say anything. He just walked in the store, had the hatchet, and started attacking people."
A motive may never be known, but West says the suspect did not ask for money before attacking the people inside the convenience store.
Although charges are not expected, this case is going to be forwarded to the King County Prosecutor's Office for review.