LAKEBAY, Wash. – Police were still searching for up to four people Friday night involved in a fatal robbery attempt on a marijuana grow operation Thursday. Another five people are in custody.
One robber was killed in the gunbattle that erupted on the Key Peninsula. Police say that man's son and the homeowner were wounded.
"The homeowner was armed. We have a large amount of suspects, not just a few. We believe possibly up to six, seven suspects came to the residence to do a drug rip or residential robbery. The homeowner fired and there was a large gunbattle," said Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer.
Troyer says handguns and shotguns were used and there were about 50 rounds of spent ammunition at the scene.
Another three to four suspects are on the loose. Some of them may be armed. They may also be wounded.
People in the neighborhood are being urged to stay inside, lock their doors and not answer the door.
"...the part that we're concerned about is we still have three, maybe four suspects at large. We don't know if they've been shot or not. (They were) on the side of the road. They took off on foot and (are) armed. We want the neighbors in this area to keep their doors locked," said Troyer. "We're sure they're just trying to get away after what happened. But, we don't want anyone else to become a victim. We don't want them going to look for refuge somewhere and someone unintentionally becoming a victim. So just be alert, call 911. We have a ton of people out here that will get to your location very quickly."
"This is unbelievable," said neighbor Diana McGee.
A woman at a nearby gas station said she heard as many as 15 gunshots.
The suspects came from several communities across King County including Burien, White Center and Maple Valley.
KING 5's Chris Daniels and Drew Mikkelsen contributed to this report.