PORT ANGELES — James Harris brought his stepdaughter with him to work on the Fourth of July for company a day after two gun-wielding robbers struck the fireworks stand where he’s employed, stealing $1,350 in cash and firecrackers.
Authorities continued Wednesday looking for two men who were armed with handguns who robbed the tent at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday on the west side of the Everwarm parking lot, 257151 U.S. Highway 101.
Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said late Wednesday afternoon that the men suspected in the robbery remained at large.
Harris, 53, was still trying to get back to normal at noon Wednesday at the for-profit retail stand about 7 miles east of Port Angeles.
“I feel a little shaky but I’m just hoping it doesn’t happen again,” the Port Angeles resident said after making a sale.
“I’m going to have people with me here today.
“It was scary when a person puts a gun into your side.”
He was the only employee at the Big Dog Fireworks tent that skirts a busy four-lane thoroughfare when the robbers walked in.
They were wearing bandanas on the top of their heads and sunglasses, looking around acting “like normal people,” Harris recalled.
They waited for him to finish taking care of a customer and her children.
He was showing one of the robbers some fireworks at the back of the stand when the man stuck what looked like a Glock pistol into Harris’ side.
“They said empty the register,” Harris said. “I was just thinking, just give them the money and try and survive and hope nobody would get hurt. “I was like, OK.
“I just came to the register and gave it to them.”
Harris gave one of them $850 in cash while the other made two trips to the fireworks tables, carrying out about five boxes of valued at about $500.
Before they left, they threatened Harris again.
“They told me if you come out of the tent within five minutes, they were going to shoot me,” he said.
Harris ran outside, anyway, soon enough to see them speed away in what looked like about a 2014 Chevrolet Astro van.
“They were gone,” Harris said.
Harris’ stepdaughter, Marissa, 12, said she was worried when she learned of what her stepfather went through.
“Yeah, I really was,” she said. “It was really unfortunate.
“I was hoping they didn’t do anything to hurt anybody.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Minks said in a prepared statement Wednesday morning that the robbers are believed to be armed and dangerous.
One suspect is a Native American or Hispanic male, 30-35 years old, 160-175 pounds with a muscular build and shoulder-length hair.
Along with the bandanna, he was wearing sunglasses, a two-tone white and blue short-sleeve shirt, and blue jeans.
The second suspect is a white male in his 20s, about 150 pounds and 5-feet, 6 inches tall.
He was wearing a blue hoodie with the hood up, sunglasses and blue jeans.
“Do not approach if you see them and immediately call 9-1-1,” Minks said.
Anyone with information should call 9-1-1 or 360-417-2459.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].