Suspect in Mukilteo shootout took aim at police, witnesses say

MUKILTEO — Neighbors who witnessed a shootout in Mukilteo on Feb. 16 told investigators they saw the suspect level his gun at officers before police opened fire.

Two men remained hospitalized this week in connection with the flurry of violence that day, which started with a double shooting on Camano Island and ended with a police chase and additional gunfire in Mukilteo.

Riley Leif Ottersen, 34, is under investigation for eluding police, plus four counts of second-degree assault for allegedly aiming a gun at officers in Snohomish County, according to a search warrant filed in district court. The man also is being investigated for first-degree assault in Island County.

Ottersen is accused of shooting two acquaintances on Camano Island and then leading police on a high-speed chase into Mukilteo.

Of the two people who were shot on the island, one, a 44-year-old man, remains at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other, a woman, was treated and released for a gunshot wound.

The victims were sitting in a car in the 500 block of Michelle Drive at about 3:15 p.m. when Ottersen reportedly approached the driver’s side window and asked for cigarettes.

One of them handed Ottersen a pack of cigarettes. Ottersen grabbed the pack and then “pulled out a firearm and without warning or provocation shot (the male victim) in the head,” detectives were told.

The bullet went into the left side of the man’s face and out the right side of his neck, according to court papers. The same bullet went through the woman’s arm.

The victims’ injuries were consistent with their statements, detectives wrote in a search warrant affidavit.

The gunman then drove off in a 2001 Toyota Camry.

Two Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies spotted the car a few miles away on Highway 532 near Stanwood. They attempted to pull Ottersen over but he took off eastbound, reaching speeds of 100 mph.

The chase continued onto southbound I-5 at similar speeds. Ottersen reportedly was weaving through lanes and using the shoulder to pass.

A Washington State Patrol trooper joined in the pursuit on I-5. An Everett police officer also joined as the chase wound westbound onto Highway 526 toward Mukilteo.

During the chase, Ottersent reportedly called 911 and told the dispatcher he had shot someone in Stanwood. He said he was in a pursuit and he “would not stop,” according to the warrant.

He then drove into Mukilteo.

At the intersection of 92nd Street SW and 53rd Avenue West, a deputy tried to ram the Camry to cause Ottersen to lose control, an effort known as a “PIT maneuver.” The PIT maneuver wasn’t successful, and Ottersen continued northbound on 53rd Avenue West.

While turning westbound on 88th Street SW, Ottersen lost control and the Camry went into a ditch. That was at about 3:50 p.m.

Police caught up a few seconds later.

Three neighbors heard the commotion and looked outside.

The three reportedly told investigators that they saw Ottersen get out of his car and wait for officers to arrive. At first, Ottersen appeared to follow the officers’ commands and put his hands up. Then he suddenly grabbed a handgun from his waist.

All three witnesses said Ottersen pointed the gun at police, according to the warrant.

The search warrant provides additional detail from the confusing conclusion of the chase. Shortly after the suspect’s car was rammed, police-radio traffic captured officers reporting that shots were fired. Then the officers reported the suspect was at gunpoint. Seconds later, police again reported shots fired. They said the suspect was down and in need of medical aid.

Investigators have not yet said whether Ottersen fired his weapon at the officers.

As of Friday, he remained at Harborview. He is expected to face charges in Snohomish and Island counties.

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.

The SMART team sought a judge’s permission to search the Toyota Camry for potential evidence. They especially were interested in Ottersen’s cellphone and whether he still had the pack of cigarettes from Camano Island.

Four officers who were involved in the Mukilteo gunfire. They were put on leave pending further investigation, as is standard procedure.

Island County detectives continue to investigate the double shooting on Camano Island, Undersheriff Kelly Mauck said Tuesday.

Island County detectives have not yet been able to interview Ottersen or the victim because of their medical conditions, he said. Ottersen has no felony history in Washington.

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

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