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SEATTLE -- Sheriff s deputies responding to a shooting Monday night near Olympia discovered a marijuana grow operation that was being protected by two alligators.

The shooting happened in the Scott Lake area.

The Thurston County Sheriff s Office said it started as a dispute between the 41-year-old suspect and a 30-year-old acquaintance, possibly related to a failed drug deal.

The 30-year-old was shot twice. He was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital for minor gunshot wounds and released Tuesday morning.

Deputies said the 41-year-old told them he had fired in self-defense. He was arrested on investigation of attempted first-degree murder.

Investigators found evidence of a marijuana grow operation and two, five-foot long alligators, purportedly meant to protect the pot.

The sheriff s office and animal services are working to determine what to do with the alligators.

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