Forest Products Theft Investigation Leads to Mason County Shooting

SHELTON, Wash. – A 50 year old Hoodsport man is at Mason General Hospital in serious but stable condition tonight after being shot by a Mason County Sheriff’s Deputy. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy B. Dean Byrd tells KBKW, at about 8:30 PM Thursday evening a Mason County Deputy was conducting surveillance on the North Dow Ridge Road above Lake Cushman pursuant to a forest products theft investigation. The deputy watched the suspect stealing wood for a period of time and called for back up. When the back up officer approached the area, the suspect discovered that he was under surveillance. The deputy attempted to take the suspect into custody.

According to the deputy the suspect did not comply with orders then fled the scene in his truck. The suspect attempted to run down the first deputy, but the deputy could not fire without endangering the approaching back up officer. As the suspect passed the first officer, the backup officer pursued the suspect for a short distance where the suspect stopped. As the back up deputy exited his vehicle with his patrol rifle the suspect turned and sped toward the back up officer. Fearing for his life the deputy fired his rifle. The suspect was hit and drove off the road over an embankment.

Deputies and Firefighters were able to rescue the suspect after considerable effort to stabilize him and get him out of the vehicle and up the embankment. The suspect was transported to Mason General Hospital by ambulance. No deputies were injured in the incident.

Officers from the Region 3 shooting team will be investigating the shooting. The Region 3 Shooting Team is comprised of officers from multiple agencies from Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis and Pacific Counties.

The deputy has been placed on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of the investigation. Detectives say the shooting preliminarily appears to be justified.