OAK HARBOR — Two sheriff’s deputies remain on paid leave this week after a U.S. Navy officer died in a police shooting on Whidbey Island.
Nicholas Klark Perkins, 37, a chief petty officer in the Navy, had been stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for about a year, according to the base.
On Sunday night Perkins sent despondent text messages to someone he knew, said Washington State Patrol trooper Heather Axtman, who is a spokeswoman for a team of detectives investigating the shooting.
Four Island County sheriff’s deputies and a lieutenant were dispatched to the home north of Oak Harbor around 8:15 p.m. They saw through a window that Perkins had a long gun, Axtman said. A standoff lasted three hours.
Another chief petty officer, 36, arrived at the home to help negotiate. He was able to go inside to talk with his friend. Perkins walked out the front door with the gun at 11:20 p.m., police said. His friend tackled him in the driveway, and Perkins opened fire in the struggle, Axtman said. A deputy shot Perkins. He died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, according to the Island County coroner.
Perkins’ friend suffered a gunshot wound to his leg.
Authorities haven’t been specific about what kind of gun Perkins was carrying, or what kind of round struck his friend. However, the investigation suggests the round came from Perkins’ gun, Axtman said Wednesday.
One deputy suffered a minor injury to his hand that was treated at the scene. Another deputy fired the fatal shots. They’re both on paid administrative leave until they’re comfortable to come back to work, said Island County Sheriff Mark Brown.
Once they’re ready to return, the deputies will be assigned to desk duty, the sheriff said.
“We’re very cognizant of the impact of an officer-involved shooting, on the officers,” Brown said. “So we’re helping them and reaching out, offering them assistance. I consider them victims in this.”
Brown declined to release the names of the deputies, or how long they have been with the sheriff’s office.
Perkins, a native of Utah, served in the Navy for 18 years.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.