By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Police arrested a suspect this morning in last week’s downtown Centralia jewelry store burglary that ended in gunfire when the adult son of the shop owner who lives upstairs woke up and confronted an intruder rifling through a showcase.
Jeremy Salewsky fired one round that police now know struck the burglar in the lower back, according to the Centralia Police Department.
Officers called about 7 a.m. last Wednesday to Salewsky’s Jewelry shop on the 200 block of North Tower Avenue learned that two masked males fled the area, leaving a trail of dropped jewelry and getting into two getaway cars each with a female behind the wheel.
Detective Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said today they arrested Justin D. McPherson, 29, of Auburn, as he was being released from a Tacoma hospital about 10:30 a.m. today.
“He’s got an extensive criminal background, he’s well known to police in the Renton, Kent, Auburn area,” Fitzgerald said.
Police are still looking for the getaway cars, described as a red newer model Mercedes and a silver newer Toyota Scion FRS – or a Subaru BRZ. Both had tinted windows.
McPherson’s injury was serious, and detectives actually figured out the following day he was at Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, according to Fitzgerald. They didn’t however, contact him until this morning, Fitzgerald said.
The bullet was a 45 caliber ACP.
Video surveillance images at the hospital showed a woman in a red Mercedes dropping McPherson – with a gunshot wound – off there about 8 a.m. last Wednesday, according to police.
When the woman, his girlfriend, arrived on Friday evening to visit McPherson, police arrested her, police revealed today. Jennifer Nordyke, 30, of Auburn, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary.
Fitzgerald said the offense for Nordyke is the same, whether she entered the building or not. Sort of like as an accomplice, he said.
The break-in occurred about 6:30 a.m., though Jeremy Salewsky called his father first, and then police were notified.
Fitzgerald said he saw no reason for the younger Salewsky to get in any kind of trouble for shooting the intruder, in the back or otherwise. A final decision on that matter would be up to the prosecutor’s office however, he said.
When police investigated, they found someone had entered the store by cutting a hole in the wall of an adjacent empty business. They broke through the back door of the vacant building next door, Fitzgerald said.
“We’re still trying to make that connection, of how they knew about that place,” he said.
Police were told the masked intruder left through the same hole in the wall.
Detectives continue to pursue leads regarding other aspects of the case, Fitzgerald said.
It’s still not clear what if anything is missing from the jewelry store.
“There was a lot of property left in the adjacent building, and a trail outside,” Fitzgerald said.
Nordyke is being held on $35,00 bail. McPherson will likely have a bail hearing tomorrow afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.
Police are still looking for their other two suspects, and the cars. Fitzgerald is asking anyone with any information to call detectives at 360-330-7680.
For background, read “Breaking news: Centralia jewelry shop burglary interrupted with gunshot” from Wednesday March 20, 2013 at 10:27 a.m., here
Centralia police say the getaway cars looked like these.