By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — The gunman killed in a shootout with police after firing at neighbors Sunday hadn’t lived in the rural area east of Arlington for long.
Recently divorced, Robert Endrizzi, 60, signed papers in January to buy the blue one-story rambler in the 17000 block of Jim Creek Road.
The disabled military veteran moved to Snohomish County from Kent last winter. His new neighbors didn’t know much about him, other than he liked to practice shooting firearms.
That wasn’t unusual. Others in the area do, too.
So Linda Purtteman didn’t think much about the gunfire she heard Sunday afternoon as she walked her dogs Zeus, Duchess and Luke down by the creek.
“They shoot around here a lot,” she said.
Jeff Huleatt, an Arlington School Board member and local dentist, lives on adjoining property to Endrizzi, with trees and a hillside screening them from one another.
He said he didn’t have much contact with his new neighbor, but it didn’t take long for Endrizzi to question the accuracy of property lines and mention plans to dig a pond that could change the drainage onto Huleatt’s land.
One time Huleatt had a conversation with Endrizzi after his neighbor drove his tractor through his electric fence and removed blackberry bushes on Huleatt’s property that helped with erosion control.
“We had a very civil exchange but he had a different attitude about things,” Huleatt said. “It left me feeling very uneasy. He could be defiant, but not overtly.”
Endrizzi mentioned that he had served in the U.S. Army in the 1970s and spent time in Korea during his stint, Huleatt said.
Huleatt is thankful that he and his family were gone on Sunday when the shooting began.
“I imagine there are people around here who are pretty shook up,” Huleatt said. “It’s very disconcerting when it happens so close to home.”
Initial evidence suggested Endrizzi was killed in a gunfight with SWAT officers, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that Endrizzi died from multiple gunshot wounds fired by law enforcement officers.
The suspect’s death is being investigated by the Snohomish County Multiple-Agency Response Team, a task force of homicide detectives from departments around the county who probe cases involving police and deadly force.
When Purtteman got close to home Sunday afternoon, a neighbor asked her what she was doing outside.
Sheriff’s deputies warned people to get inside and stay away from their windows.
“The response was overwhelming,” she said. “They were there en masse and they were there fast.”
A neighbor in his 20s was shot in his leg and there were reports that the gunman fired in the direction of other people, and hit more than one car.
“They armored up a patrol car and brought (the victim) out,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 chief Rick Isler said. “It was an unsecured scene. We were well away from it.”
Court papers shed some light on Endrizzi’s past.
He ran into financial trouble in 2003 and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Court papers listed him on “permanent disability” and his wife as a homemaker. The documents didn’t describe the nature of the disability.
At the time, he was receiving a $2,429-a-month veteran’s disability check as well as $999 from Social Security.
Creditors included collection agencies, medical clinics and mental health providers.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org