EVERETT — Marysville Police Sgt. Peter Shove waited in the back of the courtroom Tuesday until the man who shot at him and left him with nightmares was led away in handcuffs.
The patrol sergeant had asked Snohomish County Judge Ellen Fair to sentence Hans Hansen to the maximum for last year’s shooting spree that targeted police in three cities. Shove’s colleague, police Sgt. Jim Maples, was shot in the leg during the attack.
Hansen fired a rifle at Shove as the officer attempted to stop him. Other police officers were pinned down by gunfire before Hansen was shot in the head and crashed his truck.
“Feel no pity for Mr. Hansen. He bought and paid for this with every pull of the trigger,” Shove told the judge Tuesday.
Hansen was sentenced to 71 years in prison. At 44, the Lake Stevens man can expect to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler also alleged that Hansen is responsible for at least $98,000 in damages.
Hansen declined to say anything Tuesday before Fair handed down the sentence.
The officers “know what Hans did but they don’t know Hans,” public defender Jon Scott said.
His client wasn’t actively trying to kill police for the sake of killing people. He faced financial ruin and a significant health condition. His life was crumbling around him and he was hopeless and helpless, the defense attorney said.
But the defendant’s troubles don’t excuse his actions, Fair said. Plenty of people suffer from mental health issues and addiction and there is help available. The defendant chose not to seek help, the judge said.
“On that night (Hansen) targeted, terrorized and traumatized not only police officers…but the communities as well,” Fair said.
His actions went beyond trying to force police to end his life, the judge said. He put countless people in danger and it’s lucky no one died, she added.
A Snohomish County jury earlier this month convicted Hansen of multiple counts of first-degree assault and drive-by shooting. Jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether Hansen committed attempted first-degree murder when he shot at Maples and Marysville police officer James Tolbert.
After shooting at police stations in Granite Falls and Lake Stevens, Hansen fired an AK-47 at least 33 times at Tolbert and officer Bronwyn Kieland. Stray bullets struck homes. Maples was next. Hansen fired more than a dozen times at the sergeant’s patrol car. He was struck in the leg and took shrapnel in the thigh.
Maples testified that he thought of his wife and two kids as he was lying on the ground and the gunman drove closer. The veteran police sergeant was in the front row of the courtroom Tuesday with his wife.
He holds no hatred toward Hansen, Maples wrote in a letter to the judge. He does believe that the defendant must live with the choices he made, as Maples lives with the physical pain of being shot. Hansen picked destruction and violence over his family and their offers to help him, Maples wrote. The sergeant believes Hansen intended to take lives of police officers before ending his own. That decision impacted police and the entire community.
“If you must feel pity, please save it for all those Mr. Hansen has harmed,” Shove said. “For those carrying the lasting scars Mr. Hansen has given us all — those who have trouble sleeping at night (and) who still, today, right now, carry painful and frightening memories of the incident.”