Homicide suspect shot by police still unable to speak

CAMANO ISLAND — A man accused of shooting two people on Camano Island and later taking aim at officers in Mukilteo remained at a Seattle trauma center Thursday, unable to talk to detectives, officials said.

Riley Leif Ottersen, 34, was shot by police on Feb. 16 in Mukilteo after a high-speed chase from the island.

Ottersen now is under investigation for homicide, Island County Undersheriff Kelly Mauck said Thursday.

One of the people who was shot on the island, Bret Berlin, 44, died March 6 at a Seattle hospital, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. A woman who was also shot on the island was not seriously hurt.

After the shootings, the gunman took off toward I-5 and into Mukilteo, being chased by police from at least three departments. Ottersen reportedly crashed in Mukilteo, drew a gun on officers and was shot by police.

Due to his medical condition, Ottersen has been unable to speak with investigators, Mauck said. If he recovers from his injuries, Ottersen is expected to face charges in Snohomish and Island counties. The Snohomish County case involves second-degree assault allegations regarding leveling a gun at officers.

Investigators have not said whether Ottersen fired his weapon at police.

The Island County case involves Berlin’s death and the first-degree assault of the woman who was struck in the arm by the same bullet that went through Berlin’s head and neck, court papers show.

The Mukilteo shooting is being investigated by the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team. The team includes detectives from around the county who probe cases where police use potentially fatal force.

No new details about that investigation were available Thursday, said SMART spokesman and Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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