An armed customer is credited with saving lives by shooting an ax-wielding man at a 7-Eleven convenience store last weekend in Boulevard Park, a neighborhood in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area of Washington State. The attacker, identified as Steven Blacktongue, 43, died at the scene.
The hatchet attack took place early Sunday morning around 6 a.m. Witnesses say Blacktongue, wearing a mask, armed with a hand ax for splitting wood, walked into the store and began to attack. He didn’t say anything, give any commands or demand any money from the clerk or the customers. But just as soon as the attack started, a customer drew his handgun and put it to an end.
The clerk was slashed across the torso but was able to go home on the same day. Witnesses say Blacktongue was swinging to kill, and the clerk, Kuldeep Singh, was glad to have someone step in and save his life.
“What we’re seeing right now is that this customer is a good Samaritan,” said King County Public Information Officer Cindi West to KIRO7 News. “What everybody says is that he didn’t say anything. He just walked in the store, had the hatchet, and started attacking people. Had this guy not shot, who knows what would’ve happened. We might have a dead clerk right now and instead we have a dead bad guy,” West said.
“We do not see any wrongdoing on the part of the customer. In fact, he probably saved lives in this case,” added West. Blacktongue managed to slash the store clerk two or three times before the concealed-carrier was able to intervene.
The brave customer, age 60, whose name has been withheld, was drinking his morning coffee when the attack started. According to the county sheriff’s department, the man was too shaken to provide a statement. Both Singh and a clerk at a nearby convenience store described the regular as a good guy who did the right thing.
Although no charges are expected the shooting will still go to the King Count, Wash. Prosecutor’s Office for review. Sheriff’s deputies called the man a hero. The man had a valid concealed-carry permit at the time of the shooting.
So far no motivation has been discovered behind the attack, and it’s possible that none will ever be found.