An armed robbery investigation took place on March 16 after two suspects robbed Green-Theory Marijuana in Factoria at gunpoint. The two suspects, Anthony Santiago Barajas-Robledo, 20, and Rex Eckman, 19, appeared in court on the afternoon of March 17 under the felony first appearance calendar.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) argued that both suspects were a danger to the community, and it is unlikely that they would return to court if released. KCPAO asked Barajas-Robledo’s bail to be set at $500,000, and the first appearance judge agreed and found probable cause for Robbery in the First Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree.
Eckman’s bail was asked to be set at $250,000, and the first appearance judge set the bail amount to $100,000 and found probable cause for Robbery in the First Degree and Attempting to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle.
Detectives from the Bellevue Police Department responded to the armed robbery at 11:30 a.m. Employees at Green-Theory Marijuana reported that two suspects robbed the dispensary at gunpoint and fled with cash and product in a gray Nissan Maxima, driven by a third suspect.
One employee at the dispensary was able to call the police as the facility was actively being robbed. One of the suspects forced an employee to open the business safe, and then took thousands of dollars of cash prior to fleeing, according to first appearance court documents. The other suspect took money from the cash register and fled the store. Officers then pursued the vehicle.
“Any decision to pursue a suspect is highly scrutinized, and we balance the threat posed by the suspects with the risk the pursuit poses to the community,” said Chief Wendell Shirley. “In this case, these suspects were armed and extremely dangerous, and we needed to get them into custody to prevent further harm.”
According to BPD, officers followed the suspects as they drove into Seattle, through Renton, and back into Seattle. One suspect was taken into custody after the car stopped near Findlay and 37th Avenue South.
Detectives from the Seattle Police Department took over the scene and arrested the second suspect. A third suspect was barricaded in an outdoor shed when shots were fired, and the suspect was hit, according to BPD.
The afternoon of March 18, Barajas-Robledo and Eckman were charged with Robbery in the First Degree. In addition, Eckman faces the felony charge of Attempting to Elude a Pursuing Police Vehicle, and Barajas-Robledo faces the felony charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree.
Until their arraignment hearings, both men will remain in the King County Jail on bail amounts set by the first appearance judge.
The third suspect, Martinez Yanez, was fatally shot during a gunfire exchange in South Seattle. According to SPD, the suspect was hiding in a shed behind a home when he fired at officers; multiple officers returned fire and killed Yanez.
The officer-involved shooting will be investigated by SPD’s Force Investigation Unit, and representatives of the Office of Police Accountability and the Office of Inspector General responded to the scene. Due to the involvement of numerous law enforcement agencies, investigators will continue to work on confirming which agencies- and how many officers- were involved in the fatal shooting.
Since the shooting, SPD has released body-worn camera footage to the public via their YouTube channel.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include official charges and further information regarding the third suspect.