Minutemen group leader reports being shot

EVERETT — The Everett-based leader of a group that she says patrols the nation’s borders looking for drug smugglers and illegal immigrants was in an Everett hospital this morning being treated for an apparent gunshot wound in the arm.

It is the third report of violence connected to Shawna Forde in Everett since Dec. 22. That’s when her estranged husband was shot at his home. Forde reported being beaten and raped there a week later by intruders.

Forde, 41, reported being shot in an Everett alley Thursday night.

She was in satisfactory condition this morning at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, hospital spokeswoman Cheri Russum said. Privacy laws prohibit her offering other details.

Police were called just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday to an alley in the 1800 block of 24th Street to reports of someone screaming and the sound of a single gunshot, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.

A woman in the alley had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the arm. She told them she was walking alone when shot, Goetz said.

In keeping with police department policies, Goetz would not directly confirm the woman was Forde. The woman who was shot was taken to the hospital with what he described as non-life threatening injuries.

She told police she was walking from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post to a friend’s house near 23rd Street and Colby Avenue, Goetz said.

The alley is less than two blocks from the home on Rockefeller where Forde’s husband was shot and she later reported being sexually assaulted.

On Thursday, the woman said she believed she was being followed by somebody, turned around and was shot, Goetz said.

“The details after that, we’re not real clear on,” he said.

The woman was not immediately able to provide detectives with a description of whomever shot her. Investigators plan to interview her again Tuesday, Goetz said.

Everett Police this afternoon released a sketch of one of the intruders Forde said attacked her Dec. 29.

Goetz said police are investigating whether there is any possible connection with the Dec. 22 shooting and the reported Dec. 29 sexual assault.

Everett police major crime detectives are investigating all three incidents, Goetz said today.

Forde last week met with detectives to be interviewed on the sexual assault report. They asked her back to talk about her husband’s shooting. Forde indicated she would talk to them, but had to reschedule and the meeting is pending, Goetz said.

Forde and her husband moved into separate homes in July. In October, he filed for divorce.

Forde is national director of Minutemen American Defense, a group that lobbies against illegal immigration and sends volunteers to Arizona to monitor the nation’s border with Mexico.

In interviews and Web postings, she publicly linked the shooting of her husband, 51, and the attack she reported on herself a week later. She has suggested the violence was somehow connected to her activism fighting crime, drugs and illegal immigration, but offered scant details.

Forde’s rape report triggered a blogosphere backlash, with speculation that the attack could be a hoax.

Forde has dismissed questions as “politics,” and labeled as “ridiculous” any suggestion that she may have somehow simulated her injuries reported in the Dec. 29 incident.

Her hospital discharge papers from that incident were posted earlier this week on Forde’s Minuteman American Defense Web site. They show she was examined for a reported rape and was treated for a possible concussion and bruises.

Police urged anybody who lives near the alley where Thursday’s shooting was reported, or who may have seen or heard anything, to call the police tip line at 425-257-8450.

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