Man shot by deputy claims he tried to drop his guns

EVERETT — A man who was shot in the hand last week by Snohomish County deputies claimed through his attorney Tuesday that he was trying to shed his guns when the bullets began flying.

Gene Fagerlie, 36, appeared briefly in Everett District Court, his left arm in a sling. He’s been jailed since being released by Harborview Medical Center, where he was treated for his wounds.

Judge Roger Fisher set bail at $500,000 for the Marysville tattoo shop owner.

Fagerlie was shot early Thursday morning after he allegedly pointed a firearm at deputies. At the time, he was outside his Lake Goodwin-area mobile home carrying an AR-15 military style rifle, a pump shotgun with an illegally shortened barrel and a .45-caliber handgun, according to police reports.

Deputies were summoned to Fagerlie’s home after the reportedly intoxicated man began sending text messages about plans to harm himself and others. Before they arrived, he allegedly shot a TEC-9 semiautomatic handgun into the ground at his former girlfriend’s feet.

Deputies told detectives that Fagerlie pointed a firearm at them when they shouted at him “Police! Drop the gun. Put your hands up!”

Prosecutors requested $1 million bail for Fagerlie, who at the time of the shooting also was wanted on a warrant connected to a Snohomish County Superior Court child molestation charge.

Fagerlie is now jailed for investigation of assault, domestic violence and possession of unlawful firearms.

In court Tuesday, Everett defense attorney Mark Mestel did not challenge that police had probable cause to detain his client.

He did question the prosecutor’s assertion that Fagerlie presents an extreme risk of violence. He said the man wasn’t menacing deputies with a firearm but instead was trying to follow orders to disarm when he was shot.

In court Tuesday, Fisher also was presented paperwork alleging that Fagerlie had been drunk, was wearing body armor and for hours had been making statements and sending text messages about intending to shoot it out with police.

When officers searched the property after the shooting they reported finding a TEC-9 tucked away in the woods. It was fitted with a magazine carrying 23 rounds. Nearby were two magazines for the AR-15, each loaded with 30 rounds, police reports said.

Fagerlie’s gun safe reportedly was open. Detectives seized a Mossberg .22-caliber rifle with a collapsible stock. Its barrel reportedly was just under 10 inches. State law requires a minimum of 16 inches, according to a report police filed with the court.

The shooting is being investigated by the Snohomish Multiple Agency Response Team. As is standard in cases involving police use of force, the special countywide team of detectives is examining what happened, including whether the officers lawfully used their weapons.

The deputy who shot at Fagerlie has been with the sheriff’s department for seven years. As is standard practice, he’s been placed on paid administrative leave.

At the time of the shooting Fagerlie was wanted for failing to turn up for arraignment after being charged with first-degree child molestation on July 12. The case involves allegations that he sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl.

Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com

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