LAKEWOOD, Wash. – A single bullet killed an armored car guard and wounded a bystander during a robbery Tuesday at a Wal-Mart store in this south Tacoma suburb, authorities said.
Police were looking for two men in their 20s who grabbed a money bag from the guard and drove off after the shooting at about 1:30 p.m.
Killed was Kurt Husted, 39, a 16-year veteran of Houston-based Loomis armored cars, company spokesman Pat Flaherty said.
The guard was shot outside a branch of Anchor Bank located inside the Wal-Mart, Lakewood Police Lt. Heidi Hoffman said.
“As he was coming out of the bank, he was shot in the head,” she said. The guard had been wearing a bulletproof vest, Flaherty said. The single shot also injured a male customer who was hit in the shoulder while holding a child, Hoffman said. The child was uninjured and the man’s injury was not life-threatening, she said. The customer, who was not identified, was taken to Tacoma General Hospital.
There was money in the bag the robbers grabbed but Hoffman declined to discuss how much it contained.
The men fled in a stolen car later found abandoned in Tacoma.
The manhunt continued into the evening, with the FBI among “seven or eight different agencies working with us,” Hoffman said. “We’re getting tips and following those up.”
FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs confirmed her agency was involved.
“About two minutes after I walked in I heard the gun go off,” store customer Patti O’Callahan, of nearby University Place, told the News Tribune of Tacoma. “Everybody was screaming and running all over the store. They were trying to find crevices to hide in.”
She told the newspaper that store employees quickly opened the building’s emergency back exits and evacuated the customers.
Another witness, Lisa Potter Maul, of University Place, said she saw a man she believes was one of the guards lying on his stomach with a pool of blood around his head.
“There was a lot of people trying to get out,” Maul said. “Most were getting out the other doors. I was just freaked. I thought it was something fake.”
Nearby Mount Tahoma High School was briefly locked down as a precaution.