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Old fight between Tacoma schoolkids erupts in armed confrontation between families at 7-Eleven, deputies say

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Deputies say a fight between two grade-school kids six months ago came to a head Tuesday, when their families ended up in a convenience-store confrontation that ended with threats of gun violence and two forcible arrests.

A 23-year-old man was booked into jail on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm, assault, obstructing a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest, while a 29-year-old woman was booked for obstructing a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

According to Pierce County sheriff’s deputies:

Two deputies went to the 7-Eleven in the 5500 block of Orchard Street W. after somebody told them there was a man threatening a woman with a gun inside.

The man, who was still inside, refused an order to put his hands behind his back and instead tried to run away. As the man wrestled with the deputies, a gun he was carrying fell onto the floor and one of the deputies tossed it away.

Meanwhile, the woman “repeatedly lunged toward the deputies,” so once they finished arresting the man, they arrested her as well.

The man, as it turned out, was a felon with convictions for unlawful possession of a firearm and residential burglary.

Deputies talked to that man and woman as well as two other people, all of whom agreed that there was bad blood between the families stemming from a fight between their kids at a Tacoma elementary school six months ago. They’d all crossed paths at a different store over the weekends, with threats being exchanged – possibly involving guns.

“One of the female witnesses said that when she crossed paths again with the same male suspect at the 7-Eleven store, ‘she knew she was in trouble,’” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. “The witness said that when she saw the male suspect she tried to stay in the back of the store to avoid him, and said that she had told the clerk that the male suspect had a gun and to run out to the street to get the deputies.”

Deputies said the gun’s grips were covered in duct tape and the serial number had been filed off.