Arrests made in fatal armored car robbery


Kurt Husted


by Staff


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 12:18 PM

Video: Suspects arrested in fatal armored car robbery

LAKEWOOD, Wash. - Three people have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of an armored car guard at a Wal-Mart store Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Lakewood police, two people were arrested in Tacoma shortly before midnight. They are currently being held at the Pierce County jail.

Police tell the Associated Press that the two people arrested in Tacoma were somehow involved with the shootings and robbery but are not the robbers.

Lakewood police Lieutenant Heidi Hoffman is not saying how they were involved.

Jail records show the two arrested in Tacoma are a man and a woman. The man has been booked on charges of first degree murder, first degree assault, robbery, and possession of a controlled substance. The woman has been booked on charges of first degree murder, first degree assault and robbery.

Earlier in the morning, Hoffman said police have some good leads in the search for the two robbers and expect to make more arrests.

At around 8:30 Wednesday morning, a male suspect was arrested during a traffic stop in Fife. Hoffman has not given any further details on that arrest.

The shootings

The shootings happened about 1:30 p.m. at 7001 Bridgeport Way in Lakewood, just south of Tacoma. Hoffman says the shootings took place outside a branch of Anchor Bank located inside the Walmart.

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"We were walking in and all of the sudden 'POP,'" said one witness. "We heard the shot. We turned around and the guy was on the ground."

"People started running," said another.

Loomis Armored has identified the driver who was killed as 39-year-old Kurt Husted. He was with the company for 16 years.

Police say the other victim is a father who was holding his small child. He was hit in the shoulder by the same bullet that killed Husted. His injuries are considered non-life-threatening.

"Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy," said Walmart spokesperson Anna Taylor.

Police say a bag was taken from Husted, but Loomis spokesman Pat Flaherty says it was not immediately known whether the bag contained any money.

Officers checked every vehicle leaving the store lot as they searched for the suspects.

Just after the shooting, the suspects were described as black males. One is 6 feet tall with an average build who was wearing a white hat with colored trim across the bill, a long sleeve white shirt and black pants.

The second suspect is 6-feet to 6-feet 2-inches tall. He was wearing a blue baseball hat and a blue short sleeve button up short over a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

Pictures of the two suspects were released to the public.

The white 1993 Buick Skylark used to make the getaway was located by police at South 66th Street and South Monroe Street in Tacoma, about 2 miles from the Walmart. The suspects were not inside. Neighbors say they had seen the car in the area recently.

"They could be in anybody's house around here. If they are, I would that they would come out. That's bad they just killed somebody," said one nervous neighbor.

A friend says Husted was a nice man who went out of his way to help others.

"Kurt was quite noticeably a soft spoken young man," said Ryan Donahue. "He was in helicopter pilot school intending to some day change professions. He loved motorcycles and was an amateur motorcycle racer."

Mount Tahoma High School, Gray Middle School and Manitou Park Elementary School were all briefly under lockdown.

Later on Pearl Street in Tacoma acting on a tip, police pulled over a car and detained two people. Two sources tell KING 5 that these are not the suspects, but they may either be connected to them in some way or have vital information in the search for the armored-car killers, and the car they have impounded may hold clues to lead authorities to the men wanted in the Walmart shooting.