A Walla Walla convenience store clerk shot during a robbery Tuesday was in satisfactory condition after undergoing surgery overnight, police said Wednesday.
The bullet hit the woman's arm and went into her abdomen, said Walla Walla police Officer Tim Bennett.
Police didn't release the clerk's name, but the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin identified her as Miriam Clark, 33. She is at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.
Detectives and members of the Special Teams Unit have been chasing leads since the 9:45 p.m. robbery at the Chevron, 1916 Isaacs Ave.
Clark was shot while complying with the robbers' demands.
"It's very, very unusual," Bennett told the Herald. "She was grabbing money out of the till and for whatever reason, he shot her. We have no idea why."
The suspects ran out of the store and apparently lost some of the money as they were getting away. Officers recovered money found on the street in two different locations as they were trying to track the direction of the suspects, he said.
Surveillance video from the store provides little help in identifying the suspects, Bennett said. Both men had their faces covered, and they appeared tobe young, but Bennett said he couldn't tell if they were in their teens, 20s or even 30s.
"They moved very quickly," he said.
Walla Walla Community College coaches Mike Staudenmaier and Chad Bodnar were the first to arrive at the store after the shooting, the Union-Bulletin reported.
"It must have been seconds after (the suspects) ran off," Bodnar told the newspaper. "She said, 'I just got shot.' "
Bodnar said the pair rendered first aid until an ambulance crew arrived.
"She was really tough about it," Staudenmaier said, who said Clark was on the phone with 911 dispatchers when the coaches walked in.
This is Walla Walla's first robbery of the year. Last year, the police department investigated 19 robberies.
Sharpened weapon found atpenitentiary after prisoners fight
A sharpened weapon was found in the Washington State Penitentiary after two prisoners were found fighting Tuesday night, officials said.
The assault happened about 8 p.m. in a commons area of one of the Walla Walla prison's West Complex, said Shari Hall, prison spokeswoman.
The fight prompted a lockdown at the prison.
The West Complex is the prison's gang unit, which includes four close-custody living units -- the second-highest custody level at the prison, she said.
One prisoner was hurt during the fight, but Hall said she did not know the extent of his injuries. The other prisoner was placed in isolation. No staff members were hurt.
The sharpened weapon used in the assault was found after the fight was stopped, Hall said.
Local law enforcement officers and prison staff are investigating.
Only the four units in the West Complex, which houses about 187 offendersin each unit, are affected by the lockdown.
"We use this time to try to determine what the cause was and make sure there is not additional causal factors or a bigger issue we may not be aware of," she told the Herald.
The lockdown also is not used as a punishment, Hall said, but is "for the safety of both staff and other offenders."
w Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com