Pierce County sheriff's detectives continued to search Thursday for a man wanted in connection with a deadly home-invasion robbery near Puyallup on Wednesday.
Investigators believe the man accidentally killed his partner in the crime, 31-yearold Michael Aaron Price, in an exchange of gunfire with one of the home’s occupants.
Price was struck in the head and died in the driveway of the home in the 6100 block of 72nd Street Court East, just west of the Puyallup city limits. He had been arrested locally more than 40 times and has seven felony convictions, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. He also has criminal history in Oregon.
Investigators are working to identify the surviving robber, Troyer said.
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“We are sure someone knows who it was,” he said.
Investigators have said two armed and masked men broke into the home about 6:30 a.m. They went into a bedroom and woke up a man and his girlfriend who lived there.
The robbers pistol-whipped the man and demanded jewelry. They also wanted to know where a safe i n t h e house was located.
The woman grabbed a shot gun from under the bed and gave it to her boyfriend. The man and the robbers exchanged gunfire after the robbers left the house. One robber escaped; the other died outside.
Another man who lived in the house was not home at the time. Troyer said Thursday that roommate had been found and interviewed. Whether he was involved in the robbery remained under investigation, Troyer said.
He also said detectives found methamphetamine in the house and that might explain why the home was targeted by the robbers.
“It’s enough that leads us to believe that drugs were being dealt from the home or, at a minimum, people knew drugs were there,” Troyer said. “Usually these houses aren’t randomly chosen. They are targeted for some reason.”
Prosecutors will decide whether anyone at the house will face drug charges.