Crime

'Multiple rounds' fired at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yelm

Shots were fired at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses location early Tuesday.
Shots were fired at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses location early Tuesday. Courtesy

Multiple rounds were fired at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Yelm early Tuesday, according to the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

There was no one inside the Yelm location, at 15012 Vail Road SE, when the incident occurred and no injuries were reported.

As of Wednesday, there was no known suspect. "We have no leads at this time and are asking for people to help," said Sgt. Carla Carter.

Although no one was injured, the building sustained significant damage, Carter said. She estimated the damage to windows, doors and the structure at more than $10,000.

Carter said the sheriff's office is not ruling out a possible link between the gunfire Tuesday morning and two fires set in March.

A fire at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Olympia is now being treated as a crime after a person was seen pouring a liquid around the building and setting it on fire.

Two Kingdom Halls, one in Olympia and another in Tumwater, were burned by a suspected arsonist on March 19. Both fires happened within hours of each other that morning.

Olympia fire and police personnel responded to a suspected arson fire at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 2225 Cain Road SE. Monday morning at around the same time another reported arson was being extinguished by the Tumwater fire at Jeh

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent agents to investigate those fires.

Olympia police Lt. Sam Costello said Wednesday there were no new updates on the fires.

"It's still under investigation," he said.

Dan Osier, a member of the congregation at the Olympia Kingdom Hall, said Wednesday fire repairs are nearly complete. There still is some residual smoke damage to the building, but the congregation has been able to have meetings, he said.

"Some are more sensitive to smoke odors than others, but it (the building) is way better than it was," Osier said.

A member of the Tumwater congregation could not be reached Wednesday.

Anyone with information about the damage to the Yelm Kingdom Hall is asked to contact Detective Ben Elkins at 360-786-5279.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403, @rolf_boone
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