UPDATE 1/10/2020: Police have clarified that the suspect has been identified but they are still working to interview the person. “We are still searching for the suspect and will continue to until we can speak with them. Based on how that conversation goes we will be able to determine if charges are filed.” We have updated the headline to more accurately describe the complicated situation.
UPDATE 1/24/2020: A suspect has been charged in the incident.
The just-before-Christmas incident in which Capitol Hill cannabis dealer Ruckus was shot up and reportedly robbed has caused concern in the neighborhood about crime and violence connected to marijuana retailers as police investigate a string of area armed pot shop robberies. Just Monday morning, East Precinct officers responded to another armed hold-up reported at a shop on Rainier Ave just south of Jackson.
But CHS has learned that police aren’t searching for a suspect in the late night December 21st Ruckus incident in which a man reportedly opened fire inside the business and shattered the front door to exit with a bag of marijuana products while leaving behind a bag of cash.
According to police, it’s not clear the reported Ruckus hold-up will end up a criminal matter as the man who opened fire and left with the pot in the incident is associated with the 15th Ave E at E Republican business. Police are not identifying the person and say the investigation remains open. UPDATE 1/23/20: A 20-year-old suspect hast been charged in the incident.
A representative for Ruckus has not responded to CHS’s inquiries about the matter.
The shop has been hit in a reported armed hold-up before. In November of 2018, CHS reported on a robbery involving a suspect wearing a navy-blue bandana over his face and large, thick gardening gloves covered his hands who fled the shop with more than $5,000 in cash. According to state records, the liquor and cannabis board found Ruckus violated rules by failing to “maintain required security alarm and surveillance systems” following the November 2018 incident. The shop was also reportedly held up late on a Friday night last May.
Earlier that year, CHS reported on the tiny shop’s growth even in the shadow of the much larger Uncle Ike’s across the street as Ruckus owner Sam Burke continued his business rivalry with Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg.
But this latest incident has added a strange twist to the Ruckus story. According to police, the male entered Ruckus just before midnight that Saturday night and pointed a gun at employees, demanding money. He then filled a bag with products from behind the counter, police say. The man reportedly then tried to flee the store, leaving behind the bag of cash. “The employees immediately locked the front door, but the suspect returned, attempting to get back in,” SPD reported. “When the suspect could not open the doors, he pulled out his gun and fired several times at the door.” A store employee reportedly suffered a minor injury in the fracas.
Seattle Police says that the subsequent investigation revealed the shooting was not a case of someone targeting the shop and pulling off an armed heist late at night in the middle of Capitol Hill but could not release additional details because the investigation remains open. A spokesperson for the state liquor and cannabis board said Ruckus has been asked to provide a list of all products that were removed from the store in the incident, a standard requirement, and that any further action related to this latest incident would have to stem from a criminal investigation.
What will happen next, then, appears to be a matter for the neighborhood around 15th Ave E, the shop, prosecutors, and regulators.
BECOME A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' CHS SUBSCRIBER TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.