By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
STANWOOD — His legs unsteady, the accused shuffled the five steps forward to join his court-appointed attorney.
Along the way, he grabbed the back of a chair for balance.
At first Arthur Hames, 87, couldn’t hear the judge, who agreed to speak louder at the Tuesday afternoon bail hearing.
Prosecutors allege that less than 24 hours earlier, Hames used a small handgun to shoot a supervisor at a Stanwood assisted living home.
“He admitted that he intended to kill the victim,” deputy prosecutor Scott Halloran told the judge.
Bail was set at $200,000.
Hames, a resident at Josephine Sunset Home, was arrested for investigation of first-degree assault and was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.
The victim, 59, was shot in the abdomen around 3 p.m. Monday and flown by medical helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was released later that night.
Hames allegedly walked into Roger Holbrook’s office and said, “I have something for you.” He then produced the handgun and fired twice, according to allegations detailed in court papers.
The first bullet missed, but the second struck Holbrook in the stomach, court papers said.
The two men then fought over the gun, and Hames was subdued by other staff members until police arrived.
The bullet narrowly missed Holbrook’s liver. He’s expected to make a full recovery, court papers said.
Hames told detectives that he shot Holbrook with the intention of killing him. He claimed to have been bullied over a period of months, court papers said.
Hames allegedly said he armed himself with a handgun that was in his room and made his way to Holbrook’s office.
“Suspect Hames appeared to be of sound mind when interviewed by detectives and he openly expressed his anger towards Holbrook and his desire to kill him for perceived wrongs and minor physical abuse,” court papers said.
Hames told investigators that his plan was to kill Holbrook and then turn the handgun on himself.
Terry Robertson, chief executive officer of Josephine, said there is no evidence that Hames was mistreated. He had been living at Josephine for about six months.
Robertson commended his staff for their quick actions on Monday.
“I’m very proud of the response of the staff,” he said. “They did a marvelous job.”
The state Department of Social and Health Services was at Josephine on Tuesday to begin examining the circumstances of the shooting. The agency oversees licensing for assisted living centers.
“We are still early in the investigation,” DSHS district administrator Linda Moss said. “We are looking at all the facts. We are looking at facility practices according to state law.”
Firearms are prohibited at Josephine, Robertson said, and to bring one on site is “a prominent violation of our policy.”
Detectives from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office also are continuing to investigate the shooting. Two detectives attended Tuesday’s bail hearing.
The judge was told Tuesday that Hames has nowhere to go because he won’t be allowed back at Josephine and his adult children are unable to provide for his care.
Hames used a walker as he was led Tuesday from a closed-circuit courtroom in the Snohomish County Jail. Before he departed, the judge signed an order banning him from returning to Josephine or having contact with Holbrook.
Josephine, which is more than a century old, is the second-largest employer in Stanwood and provides about 300 jobs, according to its website. It offers many services, including child care and an early learning center, apartments for the elderly, 160 nursing home beds, hospice care and rehabilitation services.
Robertson said no one who lives at Josephine was in the room when the shooting occurred.
Regardless, the incident was unsettling.
“It’s a traumatic situation,” he said. “We have in-house pastoral care.”
Many residents prayed on Monday night.
Counseling also is being lined up for residents and staff, Robertson said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.