Masked gunmen invade Columbia City home, pistol-whip and rob family
SEATTLE — It was a violent and brutal home invasion robbery in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.
There were four to six intruders — two of them armed with handguns equipped with red lasers.
No shots were fired but father of the family, Tam Dang, was pistol-whipped.
A gash in his head took six staples to close.
His daughter Ngan Dang said, “They hit me and my boyfriend a couple of times but not that bad compared to my dad.”
It happened just after 2 a.m. Monday.
The family was awakened by the sound of the front door being kicked open.
“Just one kick, then there come another one and they busted in,” Dang said.
Ngan and her dad tried to barricade themselves in a bedroom while the rest of the family hid upstairs,
"Me and my dad was just trying to push up against the door. We didn't close it in time,” Ngan said.
The men forced the family all into one bedroom, and then started making demands.
"They say, 'Get down, get down and give us what you have!' And they were asking for cash, but we said we don't have cash here,” Ngan said.
With no cash, the thieves settled for everyone's jewelry -- from the adults and from the babies, too.
When a car pulled up outside, the thieves took off.
"They pointed a gun at us and said get down and they ran out,” Dang said.
"You know this neighborhood, growing up here, it's always been a little sketchy,” neighbor Dennis Lee said.
Longtime neighbors like Lee remember when Columbia City was a dangerous place.
But since the Light Rail station opened and new apartments built, things have been better. Clearly, Lee says, there is more work to be done.
"I thought that things like that would be over with, but, you know, I guess there are still things like that that go on,” Lee said.
Within hours of the invasion, the family increased their home security. They’ve installed a new steel door -- and a new alarm system is next.
Police are asking anyone who knows anything about this crime to call 911.