Gunfire wounds 3 at grocery in Pierce County
A 20-year-old woman armed with a revolver opened fire in a grocery store on Pierce County's Key Peninsula on Saturday afternoon, wounding three men. In the shooting's aftermath, a husband and wife provided crucial help — the wife sitting on the shooter while the husband tended to a man who had been shot.
Seattle Times staff reporters
A 20-year-old woman armed with a revolver opened fire in a grocery store on Pierce County's Key Peninsula on Saturday afternoon, wounding three men. In the aftermath, a husband and wife provided crucial help — the wife sitting on the shooter while the husband tended to a man who had been shot.
The shooter was still inside the store when Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrived and took her into custody.
The woman has a history of mental illness and apparently didn't know any of the victims, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said. "All she told us was that she didn't like the people she shot," he said. "But we have no way of tying her to any of them."
One of the victims was in serious condition at Tacoma General Hospital with a gunshot wound to the midsection, Troyer said. Another man, shot in the leg, also was taken to Tacoma General. A third man, who appeared to have been grazed by a ricocheting bullet, received treatment at a medical clinic.
The shooting occurred in the early afternoon at the Food Market in the Lake Kathryn Village shopping center near the town of Wauna.
Greg and Maureen Sikora, a couple who own a ranch on the Key Peninsula, were heading into a nearby pharmacy when they heard people yelling about possible shots fired in the grocery store.
"We know people who work in the store," said Greg Sikora, who is 62. "They're friends of ours. We were like, 'Oh my God, what's going on?' "
Fearful that people might be hurt, Greg went inside the grocery to see what was happening. A friend who worked there pointed to the shooter — a woman who was "just staring" and seemed "almost comatose," Greg said.
He could see that the woman was no longer holding a gun, Greg Sikora said. He shouted at her to get down — and she complied.
Maureen Sikora had followed her husband into the grocery. The shooter having gotten on the floor, Maureen Sikora sat on the woman and talked to her, trying to keep her calm. The gun was on the floor nearby, maybe six feet away.
"The woman said she had been molested, and she just wanted to kill men and kill herself, but that she had run out of bullets," Maureen Sikora said.
While Maureen stayed on top of the shooter, Greg Sikora tended to one of the men who had been shot. Upon seeing "a big pool of blood" on the floor, he searched for wounds and found the man had been shot in the leg. He removed the man's pants and applied pressure on the wound to stem the bleeding.
"I'm a biologist, so I know a lot of physiology," Sikora said.
The man was moaning and appeared to be going into shock.
When other people came into the store, Sikora directed them to help a second man who had been shot.
Maureen Sikora stayed on top of the woman until authorities arrived. She described the woman as a "very sad young lady."
"She thanked me for being kind to her," Maureen Sikora said.
Greg Sikora said he never hesitated to go inside the grocery. "No, not at all. They were my friends in the store."