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Marijuana dispensary owner claims self-defense in shooting

Marijuana dispensary owner claims self-defense in shooting

SPOKANE, Wash. - The owner of a marijuana dispensary in north Spokane shot a man outside his business Sunday night, claiming he was defending himself and his business.

Just after 11:30 p.m. the owner of Northwest Healing Arts on North Market saw a shadowy figure lurking outside his business. There isn't much else around the dispensary so the owner was suspicious. The question is did that suspicion cause him to take action that was outside his legal rights to protect his business from theft?

"He was there watching his business, lo and behold he saw a shadow in the back of the business, went out, he was armed," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

The owner confronted the would-be burglar with a shotgun. According to his report to police he walked him to the front of the business and prepared to call 911.

"The suspect came at him aggressively to the point where the business owner was in fear for his safety, possibly in fear for his life," Chamberlin said.

The dispensary owner fired his shotgun once, hitting the man in the stomach. He was rushed to the hospital, where he is recovering from his injuries. He should recover from his injuries. Detectives still have to speak with him about what happened.

"Every situation is unique so obviously we have to look at this situation independently and determine what was the business owners state of mind at this point," Chamberlin said.

No charges have been filed against the business owner or the man who was shot.

Soon Spokane will see more than just medical dispensaries opening up as legal retail pot shops will give criminals more targets and possibly create more problems like this.

"Hopefully these businesses set up very good security and make it very evident [to] the community that they are protected and that they have the security there so we don't have to deal with things like this on a regular basis," Chamberlin said.