Armed citizens no longer guard the Army recruiting center in Spanaway after Pierce County sheriff’s deputies asked them to leave Thursday.
Two Parkland men with AR-15 rifles sat out front of the center in the 15000 block of Pacific Avenue South on Wednesday. They were part of a national movement by citizens to guard recruiting centers after an attack last week at one in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
A gunman fired at the Tennessee office, then drove to a nearby Navy and Marine reserve center, where he fatally shot four Marines and one sailor. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police.
Managers and owners of property near the Spanaway center asked deputies to request that the armed citizens leave after their heavily armed ranks grew Thursday following creation of a Facebook page, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
“They left at the end of the business day Thursday and agreed not to come back,” Troyer said. “We appreciate their energy and willingness to do what they did. Sends a strong message.”
No armed civilians returned to the recruiting center Friday.
Troyer said deputies did not run the names of the armed men or investigate them because they had not committed a crime and were cooperative.