Family: Father ‘strange’ before shooting at home in Tulalip

EVERETT — It was supposed to be a nice family gathering at the Tulalip home Friday evening.

The group included a 64-year-old man, his wife of 42 years, their two grown sons and a family friend.

The night ended in tragedy with the Tulalip man booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault and one of his sons clinging to life after being shot in the abdomen.

Those at the home that night told Snohomish County sheriff’s investigators the father had been acting strange lately. His wife expressed concern that he could be suffering from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness. There reportedly were no drugs or any alcohol involved.

The shooting occurred in the 2800 block of 72nd Street NE Friday night. Dispatchers around 10 p.m. received a 911 call describing possible domestic violence and reports of shots fired.

When deputies arrived, they found the victim, 30, on a couch with a gunshot wound. He was transported to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and later to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon. His wounds were described in a police report “as grave and life threatening.”

The day before the shooting, the dad was “happy and excited” by the thought of a family gathering, his wife told detectives.

The following night, he acted odd and seemed despondent and began making religious statements about saving the world, which was out of character, witnesses told police.

One of the sons tried to question him about his behavior and was told to leave, which he did.

As the husband and wife washed dishes in the kitchen, he continued to rant about saving the world. In their bedroom later, they embraced and talked about the events of the night, according to court papers.

When she asked him if she should call 911, he reportedly became enraged and told her she needed to get out of the house by the morning. Given his erratic behavior, she began packing to leave that night.

She heard the father and their other son in another room. There was what sounded like a scuffle followed by two gunshots.

She ran away and called 911 to report her concern for her son’s safety.

When deputies arrived, they saw the suspect pacing inside the home. When they called the suspect by telephone, he reportedly made random nonsensical statements and went onto a deck. He failed to follow commands and deputies described his behavior as nonresponsive rather than combative.

When deputies found the son in the living room, he reportedly told them: “My father shot me … My father tried to kill me.”

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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