WALLA WALLA -- A masked gunman who fled on a bicycle robbed the Los Tapatios Market on Thursday, which eventually led to a lockdown of a local elementary school while authorities searched for the suspect.
According to Walla Walla police, just before 1 p.m. a man brandished a handgun at the market, 114 S. Ninth Ave, and after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, rode off on a bicycle westbound in the alley between Alder and Poplar streets.
Police, sheriff's deputies, state troopers and College Place officers searched for the suspect across a wide section of town.
At one point, a witness pointed out a residence near the west end of Willow Street, near Blue Ridge Elementary School. The school was put in lockdown for several minutes while the area was searched, with no evidence or suspect located.
There was a clerk and at least one other person in the store at the time of the robbery, police said.
The gunman is described as a white male, 6 foot 2, wearing a dark jacket over a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, gloves and sunglasses.
The robbery is similar to one that occurred Oct. 26 at the Taj Food Mart, 5 W. Morton St. The suspect in that robbery also fled the area on a bike.