SPOKANE, Wash. - UPDATE: According to Spokane police, the person suspected of robbing the pot shop was arrested Thursday morning.
Police are still searching for a man who robbed the Starbuds Cannabis store on East Francis Tuesday night, holding two employees at gunpoint and shooting one before fleeing the scene. The woman who was shot was rushed to Sacred Heart. Employees said she is now recovering at home.
Local cannabis stores are attracting lots of customers, and recently, a handful of violent criminals seeking drugs and cash, who are using weapons to get what they want. Tuesday's shooting is not the first violent crime to happen at a local pot shop in recent months.
In September, a man kidnapped Cameron Smith, an employee at Lucid Marijuana in Cheney. Smith's body was found in a field days later.
On Tuesday night, two armed men entered a pot store near Seattle just hours after the Starbuds employee was shot and injured.
Local marijuana retailers are doing what they can to deter criminals and protect their employees.
"Safety is our biggest thing. It's nerve racking leaving at night," said Lucky Leaf owner Shilo Morgan. After hearing of Tuesday's shooting, Morgan couldn't help but think about her own employees.
"It breaks my heart because they are my family. We have a lot of family that works and I've gotten closer and closer with each of my bud-tenders," Morgan said. "We always try to make sure there's two people at all times, leaving."
Marijuana shops have more security than your average business. At Lucky Leaf in downtown Spokane, 16 high-definition cameras provide eyes inside and out.
"Cameras are required by the Liquor Control Board. We probably have a little bit more than usual," Morgan said. Her shop also has metal gates which block the front entrance when the store is closed and a noisy alarm that triggers when glass is shattered.
Criminals are likely looking for cash and drugs, but Morgan said her store's profits are tucked away in a secure safe and frequently hauled off site by armed guards.
"Less money in the building is what we like," Morgan said.
The man who opened fire inside Starbuds was captured on camera but no photos have been released.