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Domestic Argument Ends with Son Injured, Wife and Suspected Husband Deceased After Officer Involved Shooting

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On 08-31-2020 at approximately 9:18 PM Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence shooting on Chenois Valley Road north of Hoquiam. The reporting party, a 47 year old female, called 911 to report that her 18 year old son had been shot in the hand and her 56 year old husband had been shot in the chest. The female reported that her husband had been threatening her. An unrelated witness was at the residence at the time of the altercation. The witness reported that the husband took a gun away from his wife and an argument ensued. At one point during the argument, between the husband and wife, the 18 year old son attempted to take the gun away from his father. While attempting to take the gun both subjects fell to the ground. The gun was discharged and struck the sons finger and leg. The husband was struck in the chest. The wife also reported that her husband had been armed with a knife and may have stabbed her son.

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The witness and son left the residence to try and summon help. As they were leaving, the son observed his father aiming a rifle and heard a gunshot. The wife’s call to 911 went silent. A neighbor also called 911 to report hearing gunshots. The son and witness were contacted by a Hoquiam PD Officer and aid was summoned for the 18 year old male. The son is in satisfactory condition at this time. Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, Hoquiam PD and the Washington State Patrol responded to the scene. Deputies made contact with the husband and he refused to leave the residence and surrender. He would not allow his wife to leave and warned if law enforcement tried to enter the house he would shoot them. At this point, the sheriff’s office requested the Aberdeen Regional Crisis Response Unit (CRU). CRU has members from Aberdeen Police Department, Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, Hoquiam Police Department, Montesano Police Department and the Cosmopolis Police Department. CRU negotiators made contact with the male and attempted to get him to surrender.

The male refused to surrender and would not advise the status of his wife. Investigators received information that the male had numerous weapons, black powder and explosives. After more than three hours of negotiating with the male suspect a large explosion came from the front of the house followed by another large explosion. After the two explosions the male suspect started firing numerous rounds out the front of the residence at the law enforcement officers. Seven members of CRU responded by returning fire at the suspect. Fortunately no law enforcement officers were injured in the explosions or shots that were fired at them. Shortly after the gunfire ended the house caught on fire and was quickly engulfed in flames. The fire department was not able to get close to the fire due to the threat of explosives on scene. As the house burned, there were numerous loud explosions that came from the residence. The suspect was not seen leaving the house and investigators believe he and his wife were still in the house when it was on fire.

Two Grays Harbor County Deputies, three Aberdeen Police Department Officers and two Hoquiam PD Officers fired their weapons at the suspect. Per standard procedure, all law enforcement directly involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. None of the agencies involved in the incident will be investigating the shooting. The sheriff’s office requested the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team (CIIT) to conduct an independent investigation of the incident. The CIIT is called to investigate any deadly force incidents involving the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office. CIIT consists of detectives from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Pacific County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol. Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office detectives will not be involved in the investigation as Grays Harbor deputies were involved in the shooting. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation and all further information and news releases will be handled by Mason County Sheriff’s Office Chief Dracolby. Detectives will be serving a search warrant on the residence when it is determined that it is safe to do so.

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