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Updated Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 08:16 PM

Two killed in apparent invasion of Puyallup luxury home with pot crop

By DOUG ESSER
The Associated Press

On the day marijuana became legal in Washington, two masked intruders were killed at a luxury home near Puyallup where marijuana was being grown, the Pierce County Sheriff's Office said.

The homeowner called just before 8 a.m. Thursday to report a break-in and then called back a few minutes later to say shots were fired, said spokesman Ed Troyer.

A deputy arrived minutes later and found two men dead on the floor of a six-car garage where marijuana was growing in the loft.

"Dark clothing, hoodies, bandannas over their faces, handguns at their feet," Troyer said. They also wore backpacks.

The house appeared to be the scene of a shootout.

"Bullet holes through the house, windows, and marijuana leaves in the garage."

The 35-year-old homeowner and a 9-year-old boy who was inside at the time are unharmed. The man is being detained, at least for investigation of an illegal marijuana-growing operation, Troyer said.

"I know this is the first day of legal marijuana in the state," he said. "But, if you're going to grow weed, people are still trying to go and try to take it."

It might have ended with a dead homeowner and 9-year-old boy.

"This sure could have gone the other way," Troyer said.

After a quick search to make sure no one else was inside, detectives waited for search warrants to go through the home.

It's an expensive, secluded house with nice cars, boats and motorcycles around. It's located on a private driveway with a gate and security system, Troyer said. Detectives will be checking the security video.

Investigators also will try to re-create the shooting from ballistics and bullet holes.

"We don't know who fired what," Troyer said.

They are certain the home was targeted for the marijuana. It was far more than someone would grow for their own medical use, Troyer said.

The law that took effect Thursday made it legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use. The state is still working to set up regulations for growers, processors and retail stores.


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