Manager shot during armed robbery of N. Seattle Kmart store

SEATTLE - The manager of a Kmart store in North Seattle was shot Saturday night when an armed robbery attempt turned violent, police and witnesses say.

The drama began when a single armed robber entered the Kmart in the 13200 block of Aurora Avenue North just before closing time, at about 9:15 p.m., said Detective Mark Jamieson of the Seattle police.

Witnesses said the robber grabbed the manager, forced him to the back of the store and demanded that he open the safe.

But the manager resisted and a struggle broke out between him and the robber. The robber's gun went off during the struggle, hitting the manager in the torso, officials said.

The robber then brought the manager back to the front of the store and threatened to shoot more employees. In the meantime, however, one of the employees was able to call 911.

Multiple police units arrived on scene shortly afterward.

Officers entered the store and quickly took the robber into custody. SWAT team officers then searched the rest of the building to ensure that there were no other suspects or injured people inside.

"The SWAT team came and they had taken out their machine guns," said witness Tamara Sanderfer. "And then the cops came, and they were looking in all the vehicles with the flashlights."

The rest of the building was cleared and no other suspects or victims were found.

The store manager was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition at last check.

The incident remains under investigation, Jamieson said.