A man suspected of shooting a Spanaway convenience store clerk Thursday has been charged with first-degree assault and attempted robbery.
Tyrone Anthony Prophet Jr., 23, pleaded not guilty in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
Prosecutors contend Prophet is the masked man who walked into the store in the 16600 block of Pacific Avenue South about 2:30 p.m., pointed a gun at the 30-year-old clerk and demanded money.
The clerk took money from the till but pulled her own gun and pointed it at the bandit when he looked toward the door for a moment, court records show.
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“Both guns went off close in time to each other,” deputy prosecutor Douglas Hill wrote in charging papers. “The bullet fired by the victim passed by the defendant’s head and went into the ceiling. The bullet fired by the defendant hit the victim in the abdomen.”
The would-be robber then ran to a car outside, which was driven from the scene. The clerk underwent surgery. She is expected to survive.
Investigators were able to track the getaway car to a Pierce County motel, where Prophet was staying with a woman, court records show.
Detectives searched the room and found a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun hidden under a bed mattress. The gun closely resembles the one wielded by the gunman, as seen in surveillance video, Hill wrote.
Investigators also discovered a jacket, hoodie and beanie-style cap in the room. Witnesses said the gunman was wearing similar clothes at the time of the attempted robbery.