Gators Guarding Pot?
Alligators, stripper pole and marijuana plants found in shooting suspect's home.
Police said it was one of the strangest shooting scenes they've come across. Sheriff's deputies responding to a shooting Monday night near Olympia, Washington discovered a marijuana grow operation inside the house, along with two alligators and a stripper pole.
The Thurston County Sheriff's Office said it started as a dispute between the 41-year-old homeowner and a 30-year-old neighbor.
The 30-year-old was shot twice.
He was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital for minor gunshot wounds and released Tuesday morning.
The 41-year-old shooting suspect, identified as Darren Shore, told police he had fired in self defense.
He was arrested on investigation of attempted first-degree murder.
Inside the home, investigators found 15 marijuana plants and two five-foot long alligators, purportedly meant to protect the pot. The suspect helped police lure the alligators into a tub in the bathroom while deputies conducted their investigation.
Police believe the incident may have been a drug deal that turned violent.
Neighbors who have known Shore for years laugh it off.
"That's far from the truth. The alligators he's had long before the medical marijuana," said Greg Garrison.
Shore's mother said her son is on disability and has been prescribed medical marijuana for his chronic back issues and carpel tunnel syndrome.
She also says he's always had an affinity for reptiles.
"He had one since it was a baby and he had it before it was banned in the state of Oregon," said Ellie Pierson-Sutter, Shore's mother. "And then a friend had the other who went through a divorce and couldn't keep it."