Armed suspect fires shots in gas station

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MOSES LAKE — A man who allegedly fired shots during an armed robbery in Moses Lake late Wednesday night was taken into custody in Grandview early Thursday morning.

About 10 p.m. Wednesday night the Moses Lake Police Department received a report of a robbery at a gas station in the 500 block of Valley Road. The victim told police Sean McFarlen, 44, entered the gas station and assaulted her while stealing items and damaging the store. The MLPD states evidence has been gathered that indicates McFarlen had a gun during the incident and shots were fired.

The victim attempted to call the police, but McFarlen allegedly broke her cell phone, the store’s business phone, assaulted her and attempted to lock her in a storage closet.

“Fortunately, one of the victim’s attempted calls made it to the 911 call center and officers were dispatched,” MLPD Capt. Mike Williams said.

McFarlen left the store with cash and $2,500 in stolen cigarettes and fled the area in a stolen BMW. After investigating the incident, MLPD officers gathered information that McFarlen fled to the city of Grandview. Police in Grandview located the stolen BMW at a residence about 2 a.m. Thursday morning and kept close watch on the house.

The MLPD obtained a search warrant for the house and BMW and the Yakima SWAT Team responded to the scene. McFarlen refused to leave the house for a number of hours.

“McFarlen apparently used this time to channel his inner Chuck Norris to come up with an ill-fated escape plan. Around 7 this morning, McFarlen exited his house, mounted his motorcycle and tried to ride up a ramp and jump over a fence out of his backyard,” Williams stated. “SWAT team members met him with an accurate application of less lethal shotgun rounds. This caused McFarlen to abandon his escape attempt, and he was arrested.”

Police reportedly located a gun, cash and the stolen cigarettes inside of the house. McFarlen was taken into custody on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, felon in possession of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle and second-degree malicious mischief.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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