Undersheriff Johannson says that on 01-05-21 deputies were dispatched to Alder Place in Elma, Washington for a domestic violence incident that was in progress. The reporting party called dispatch to report that she spoke with a female located at the Alder Place residence. The female told the reporting party that her husband was intoxicated, upset, and shot a gun in the residence.
The male suspect had talked about being suicidal recently as well. The reporting party advised there were three small children in the residence with the married couple. The reporting party explained that she could hear the female screaming and then the call was disconnected. Deputies responded to the scene and requested additional units. Elma PD, McCleary PD and a K-9 Officer from the Aberdeen Police Department responded to assist.
Law enforcement arrived on the scene and contacted the female resident who advised her husband had left the residence with the gun.
The male suspect was spotted hiding in some brush near the residence.
Law enforcement officers took cover to protect themselves and ordered the male to drop his weapon, come out from the bushes, and to keep his hands visible.
The male initially refused to comply with the orders. After several more requests, the male came out from the bushes with a 9mm pistol in his hand and walked out in the open.
The male refused to drop the gun and comply with the deputies orders. The male was arguing with deputies and swinging the pistol around in the direction of the deputies. The suspect was upset and appeared to be suicidal.
At one point, the male put the gun under his chin and appeared as though he was going to shoot himself. When he lowered the gun towards the ground a Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office Sgt. fired a less lethal bean bag round from his shotgun striking the suspect. The suspect dropped to his knees but did not release the pistol and failed to comply with orders to drop the pistol.
The Sgt. fired two more less-lethal bean bag rounds at the suspect in an attempt to get the suspect to drop the gun. One of the bean bag rounds struck the suspect. However the male still would not comply with their orders. The Sgt. fired another bean bag round at the suspect and the suspect dropped the pistol and was taken into custody.
The suspect received a laceration and large contusions from being struck with the bean bag rounds and was transported to the hospital where he was treated prior to being booked into Grays Harbor County Jail for Assault 2nd degree.
It was later learned the 24-year-old male suspect had actually fired two rounds from his pistol after exiting his residence. The male suspect is on active duty in the U.S. Army and his supervisors have been informed of the charges and his mental state.
Johannson says that he is extremely relieved that this incident did not result in the death or serious injury to law enforcement or the suspect. If the deputies did not have available cover, assistance from multiple officers, and the time to deploy the less-lethal shotgun this easily could have resulted in deadly force. I feel everyone on the scene showed great restraint in this extremely dangerous situation. I spoke with the deputies on scene and they felt very fortunate no one to include the suspect was seriously injured or killed. I would encourage anyone that is struggling with thoughts of suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of harming yourself or others call 911.