Man held for attempted murder in Sultan shooting

EVERETT — When sheriff’s deputies stopped the suspect in a Sultan shooting, they found a shotgun in the passenger seat, a black and white dog in the backseat and beer cans littering the Lincoln.

Paul Hackney, 70, was arrested Friday night and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of attempted first-degree murder. He declined to speak with deputies. The man he reportedly shot at told police Hackney may have opened fire over a woman.

Hackney, a retired crane operator, allegedly was intoxicated at the time of the shooting. Along with Coors beer cans, deputies also found cans of Mike’s Hard Mango Punch in the car, according to a police affidavit.

Hackney made a brief court appearance Monday in Everett District Court. His attorney asked the judge to lower bail from $500,000 to $50,000, saying Hackney isn’t a danger to flee and doesn’t have any prior felony convictions.

The defense attorney called the incident an “aberration exacerbated by alcohol.”

District Court Judge Tam Bui agreed to reduce Hackney’s bail to $50,000. She banned the Monroe-area man from having any firearms. He also is prohibited from contacting the victim.

Deputies were summoned Friday night to an address on Mann Road in Sultan. The caller told police he’d crawled out of his pickup and hid in a pasture after Hackney shot at him. The man was not seriously injured.

He said he was headed home when he saw a car pull into his driveway. He stopped behind the car and recognized Hackney. He asked the older man how he was doing. “Real (expletive) fine,” Hackney reportedly responded.

The man, 54, sent his girlfriend a text message, warning her that Hackney was drunk and told her to lock the doors. The man sat in his pickup, waiting for Hackney to leave. Instead, he said Hackney got out of his car and began yelling.

He said then he heard and felt a shot come through the windshield. Glass fragments flew at him. Hackney was still yelling. The Sultan man told police he crawled out of the pickup, ran into a pasture and called 911. The shot that hit the windshield was inches from where the man was sitting, police reported.

Deputies were told that Hackney was headed toward Monroe. Police caught up with him at U.S. 2 and 311 Avenue SE. He was arrested at gunpoint.

Police searched his car and found a shotgun on the passenger seat. They found a shotgun shell in the driver’s seat. There was a rifle in the trunk. Hackney refused to tell police his address or phone number. “‘I am not saying anything period,’” Hackney was quoted saying in the police affidavit.

The victim told police that Hackney knows his girlfriend through her family. He said he thinks Hackney wants a relationship with her.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;

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