Detectives searching for man who shot employee outside popular Tacoma pot shop

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is asking for your help to find a man who was caught on camera shooting an employee outside a popular cannabis shop in the Tacoma area. 

The department says it happened at Zips Cannabis on Pacific Avenue South at around 10:58 pm on May 17th.   

Investigators say the shooting suspect in this case drove through the parking lot a couple of times before he stopped to talk to the employee and pulled out a gun.  

It's unclear if the shooting was targeted or a random act of violence. Investigators say the employee was on a regularly scheduled break outside at the time of the shooting.  

The shooter could be seen on security video, pulling up to talk to the employee in a black Cadillac Escalade. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says the suspect asked the 27-year-old where parking was for the strip club Dream Girls before opening fire.

"That’s scary. It’s really scary," said Heather Grammer, a Zips customer. "It’s a very scary feeling knowing this is supposed to be a safe spot for people to come to, and you have to worry about getting shot coming in here. That’s crazy."

"I think that’s really bad. Zips is a good place that people come to all the time. Just to get whatever they need, you know, to have fun and stuff like that, and it’s really recreational," said Isley Henry, another Zips customer.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says before talking to the employee, the suspect, who was described as a man in his 30's, circled the parking lot two times, despite there being plenty of parking.   

"There were at least four parking spots I could see in the video, and he drove through twice. So, either he’s confused of where Dream Girls went, or he was trying to calm the person down before he decided to shoot them. It didn’t make sense to ask where parking was when there was parking everywhere right in front of the building," said Darren Moss, Pierce County Sheriff's Department. 

Customers say it's usually a good vibe in the area.   

"That’s how it usually is now. Everything is just so random and just out of the blue," said Grammer. 

However, some say when the sun goes down, things can change.  

"It’s Tacoma, you know what I’m saying. A lot of stuff happens at night," said Henry.    

The store manager declined comment Monday. 

Moss said the employee was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. 

Anyone with information about the suspect or the vehicle should call the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. You can also make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers via the P-3 Tips app or through the Pierce County Sheriff's App.


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