South Sound News

Employee shot during attempted smash-and-grab burglary in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — A grocery store worker is recovering after he was shot multiple times in South Tacoma.

Investigators say the employee interrupted an attempted burglary while responding to an alarm.

“(They) broke the door and the window, the glass, and two people go inside, one has a gun,” said Sergio Pelayo, owner of Los Amigos Supermarket off Tacoma Way near South 64th Street.

Just before 3 a.m., Tacoma Police responded to a shooting at the business. They found one of the employees shot and bleeding. Officers say it started as an attempted robbery.

Pelayo shared surveillance footage with KIRO7. In the video you can see a Boys & Girls Club van backing up into the business.

“I see three people come in a white van and pull the (store’s) door with the van,” said Pelayo.

As the suspects tried to break into the safe, one of Pelayo’s employees walks in. He is shot three times.

“He received (one gunshot) in the left hand, one in front, and the other one in the stomach,” said Pelayo.

Police say the victim has non-life-threatening wounds.

Pelayo says this is the sixth break-in this year. He shared video with KIRO 7 of a burglary from back in October.

He says he no longer leaves money in the safe and has tried to secure his business to deter criminals.

“That’s why I put the metal in the windows, try to protect them little bit more,” said Pelayo.

Police say the suspects took off in the van. Investigators are looking into whether it was stolen.

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