Two suspected robbers believed to be targeting an alleged home-based marijuana growing operation were killed in a shootout on the first day of legal marijuana in Washington state, authorities said.
The 35-year-old homeowner told detectives he shot the masked intruders Thursday after they broke into his home near Puyallup, Pierce County Sheriff spokesman Ed Troyer said, according Komonews.com. Troyer told the news outlet that the masked men most likely sought to grab the pot and maybe cash.
The Associated Press reported the secluded, luxury home had a security system, a private driveway and that the homeowner had motorcycles, boats and nice cars.
The homeowner and his 9-year-old son were not hurt. The homeowner, whose name was not released, was detained, at least pertaining to an illegal growing operation, Troyer told the wire service. He has since been released.
The marijuana at the home was of large quantity, much more than one would need for medicinal use, Troyer said.
The shooting occurred on the first day of legal marijuana in the state. The law, which voters approved in November, allows those 21 and older to possess an ounce or less of pot.
Backers of the initiative hope the law puts an end to the black market marijuana industry, such as the alleged growing operation where the shooting took place.
At the moment, it is still illegal to buy, sell or grow marijuana. The state’s liquor control board is now tasked with drafting a framework for licensing growers, handlers and retailers.