The hatchet-wielding man fatally shot by a customer at a South King County 7-Eleven store on Sunday morning has been identified as Steven Blacktongue, 43, a felon who had served time for assault and a drug offense.

Blacktongue, wearing a mask, walked into the convenience store near South 110th Street and Eighth Avenue South about 5:45 a.m. and swung a hatchet at a customer, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Blacktongue then went behind the counter and attacked the 58-year-old clerk, never saying anything, the sheriff’s office said.

Within seconds, the customer pulled out a handgun and shot and killed the attacker, likely saving the clerk’s life, sheriff’s Sgt. West said Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

steven_blacktongueBlacktongue died of multiple gunshot wounds, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday.

The 60-year-old customer, who buys coffee from the store almost every morning and sits and chats with the clerks, has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, West said.

The customer, who has not been identified, has declined to speak with the news media, West said Monday.

The clerk, whose name wasn’t released, suffered a minor injury on his stomach, West said.

Blacktongue served time in a state prison from April 2006 to September 2012 after being convicted in King County of first-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. After his release, he was placed on community supervision until March 6, 2014.

He previously was placed on community supervision, but not incarcerated, from January 1997 until October 2003, after being convicted of third-degree assault and an unspecified misdemeanor.


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