Man’s death ruled homicide from pellet-gun wound

LYNNWOOD — A man found slain near Lynnwood on Sunday died from a pellet fired by a powerful air rifle into his chest, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The death of Dean E. Urness, 52, of Edmonds, was ruled a homicide.

Snohomish County sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit detectives are investigating.

Two people were arrested Sunday in connection with the death. Police believe the shooter was a 32-year-old Lynnwood-area woman. She was being held on $250,000 bail for investigation of second-degree murder.

Police believe a number of people got into an altercation outside the woman’s home along Damson Road before Urness was shot about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Detectives on Tuesday declined to release additional details about the case, sheriff’s Lt. Steve Dittoe said.

About 10 people were at the house in the hours surrounding the death, some of them homeless, court papers show. Police were given varying accounts of what happened.

Investigators believe Urness may also have been struck in the head with a baseball bat sometime before his death, lawyers said in court Monday.

People at the home told police they saw the woman holding what looked like a rifle before Urness dropped to the ground. They didn’t hear a gunshot.

Police aren’t discussing any weapons involved.

Emergency crews were called to the home about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. They found Urness on the ground. He died in the back of the ambulance.

Witnesses said Urness was unarmed during the confrontation but may have participated in the brawl.

State Department of Health data show only one reported death from a pellet gun in Washington between 2007 and 2011, department spokesman Donn Moyer said Tuesday.

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

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