SEATTLE - A well-known Washington state medical-marijuana activist traded gunfire with robbers who invaded his home early yesterday, suffering minor shotgun pellet wounds and sending one intruder to the intensive- care unit of a hospital.

Steve Sarich, 59, runs Canna-Care, an organization that provides patients with marijuana plants and advice about state law.

"I don't want to shoot people, but God, this is our eighth home invasion since last May," he said.

Sarich said he was awakened at his Kirkland home by the barking of his dogs, then grabbed a .22-caliber handgun and headed down a hallway.

A man with a shotgun confronted him in the living room and fired, he said. The blast struck a wall a few inches from his head, Sarich said. One pellet struck his face while another hit his leg.

Sarich shot at the robber but missed. When his gun jammed, he darted back to his bedroom and grabbed another handgun. He saw another robber standing outside the glass door to his bedroom and fired three times, hitting the robber.

Sarich's live-in girlfriend called 9-1-1, as did the wounded robber, a 19-year-old from Renton. King County sheriff's deputies found him in the backyard and took him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he had surgery for his wounds.