Employee killed in Tacoma pot shop robbery

Another pot shop robbery has turned deadly after police in Tacoma said an employee was shot to death on Saturday night.

This is at least the third deadly incident in our area since Wednesday.

FOX 13 News talked with people who heard the shots and are hoping something will stop these dangerous encounters.

A neighbor told us there have never been issues at the World of Weed on Portland Avenue, but he also worried with so many pot shop robberies happening, it was only a matter of time.

"It was ‘pop, pop, pop.’ Three times in a row, like, ‘bang, bang, bang’," neighbor Charles Traversie said.

That sound startled Traversie right out of bed on Saturday night.

It was the sound of what Tacoma police said was an armed robbery turned deadly shooting at the World of Weed.

"Never ever had problems before. I knew sooner or later, I was just thinking a few days ago, it was going to probably get hit soon because you never had problems with robberies here before," he said.

Tacoma police said the armed robbery happened just after 10 p.m. Witness accounts suggest two cars pulled up to the shop and then took off. A man who worked at the store was shot to death, police confirmed.

This is at least the third armed robbery that took a deadly turn in our area in the past week. There was one in Bellevue on Wednesday and another in Covington on Thursday.

Now, this one in Tacoma.

Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti has been pushing Congress in Washington, D.C., to pass the SAFE Banking Act.

He said it would mean all banks can accept cannabis dollars, making these businesses less reliant on cash and allowing credit card purchases.

"Most banks will not take money related to the cannabis industry. There are some Washington-only, Washington-based banks that do allow for some participation, but that still doesn't include the national banks that provide credit card services and the range of loans and other programs that are available," Pellicciotti told FOX 13 News.

He said the bill has passed the U.S. House and is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate.

"Everyone in government needs to be doing everything they can to make their work environment safe for the cannabis retailers. Nobody should be going into any work environment dealing with these type of risks," Pellicciotti said.

Neighbors said they hope to see these robberies come to an end.

"It's a sad situation that somebody gets shot every day, even young kids, you know? I don't know what to say. The world's going to hell," Traversie said.

On Sunday, many customers stopped by the shop, and someone came to leave flowers.

Meanwhile, Tacoma police said detectives and crime technicians are investigating the case as a homicide.

Tacoma police have not released any information about a suspect.

We also reached out to World of Weed for comment, but have not been able to get in touch.

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