By Doug Petrowski
The Wednesday, May 23, “drug deal gone bad” in the 4500 block of 241st Street Southwest is not an indication that violent home invasions are on the rise in Mountlake Terrace, a police spokesman said on Thursday.
“This was not a random thing,” Mountlake Terrace Police Department Commander Doug Hanson said.
Early media accounts called the incident an armed home invasion, but that proved to be false when the original story provided to police by the alleged victim couldn’t be substantiated. “She gave us a rambling story that didn’t fit together,” said Hansen.
The woman originally told police she had posted a car for sale on Craigslist. That posting brought interest from two men, who met her at the Cinebarre theater. She led them back to her home to show them the car and complete the sale.
But that isn’t what happened either, Hansen said. “It was a drug rip gone bad.”
Police believe the woman brought the two men into her home to buy drugs, but then changed her mind after money had changed hands. Guns were pulled out by the woman and one of the men and an armed standoff resulted. A struggle followed and the woman and armed man ended up swapping guns, again pointing the firearms at each other.
Hearing the commotion, the woman’s father came down stairs with his gun pulled.
“It was a three-way standoff,” Hansen said. “There could have been bullets flying all over the place.”
The men escaped the house before any firearms were discharged, and they were captured by authorities. The armed man, a 28-year-old from Auburn, was tracked down, arrested and booked into Snohomish County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm.
During the 90-minute manhunt, Mountlake Terrace police were joined by seven other law enforcement agencies to assist. The armed man was eventually taken into custody across the Snohomish-King County line near Northeast 205th Street and 33rd Avenue Northeast.
Hansen stressed that area residents shouldn’t feel as though armed thugs are breaking down front doors and taking homeowners hostage. “People invite this kind of danger into their homes due to their lifestyle,” Hanson added.
Mountlake Terrace police continue to investigate the incident; additional charges may result.