While it sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie, there was a report of a shooting at a quiet, suburban house in Washington State on Monday. Police following up on the report got a little more than they bargained for.
When Thurston County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the house, they found a very bizarre scene. They were greeted by an exotic dancer and two alligators, who were busy guarding a covert marijuana plantation.
Talking to local media, one of the detectives, Lt. Greg Elwin, said that the whole thing was like “a scene out of a Hollywood movie.”
On entering and searching the house, the officers found a full scale strip-dance pole and, even more surprisingly, an exotic dancer. In another room, they found the owner's pets - two five-foot (1.5m) hissing alligators, guarding the owner's weed plantation.
“They were there for protection for the marijuana grow area. They were just crawling around on the floor,” said Elwin.
The owner, 41-year-old Darren Shore, offered to help catch his pets, and managed to secure them in a nearby bathroom.
Photo courtesy of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
Getting back to the reason for the call out, when Shore was confronted by the officers about the reported shooting, he said he had opened fire in self-defense. Apparently someone had tried to run him over.
However, police believe Shore actually shot at a 30-year-old acquaintance, twice, possibly related to a failed drug deal. The man was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital for minor gunshot wounds and apparently released Tuesday morning.
Shore was taken into custody for an investigation of attempted murder. Police left the alligators behind, but contacted Thurston County Animal Control officials, as they were not sure if Shore was breaking any laws by keeping the alligators.
According to Elwin, they were left in the water-filled bathtub with some raw chicken parts to nibble on.