Man fatally shot during encounter with deputy

MONROE — A man was fatally shot early Tuesday as a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy investigated a report that a stranger was knocking on doors during the middle of the night along a stretch of country road outside Monroe.

The shooting occurred in the 17500 block of Tester Road.

The deputy arrived on the scene at 12:31 a.m. and called for backup. Four minutes later, he reported that shots had been fired, said Everett police officer Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the Snohomish County Multi-Agency Response Team, which is handling the investigation.

“There was a suspicious incident called in,” Snell said. “The deputy was responding to that. The deputy requested help.”

Snell said he couldn’t comment on whether the suspect was armed. Detectives did recover a handgun at the scene, he said.

The deputy, 31, was uninjured. He’s been with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office since 2007. In keeping with policy, he was placed on administrative leave.

The man who died was in his 60s. Deputies impounded a Dodge Neon that apparently was driven to the area by the man. It had become stuck.

“We are not exactly sure why he was here,” Snell said.

KIRO TV, the Herald’s news partner, reported there were indications the man lived in the neighborhood. No name was released pending formal identificaton by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The incident began when someone along Tester Road called 911 to report that a man had come to the door and appeared upset. The caller then heard a pop, according to dispatch records.

The deputy told dispatchers that he’d found the man walking south from the house. He then called out, “Shots fired. Shots fired.”

“I have one down, he’s not moving,” the deputy said over the radio. The man fired at least one shot during the confrontation, the deputy told dispatchers.

In keeping with county policy, the case was assigned to SMART, a team of detectives from various local law enforcement agencies who investigate police use-of-force incidents.

The shooting occurred along a stretch of pavement that veers off Tester Road. The road had a gate across it and was posted as private property. It appeared from matted grass and spun-out gravel that the man attempted to turn his car around on the private road and got stuck in a ditch.

Levi Gilbert, 22, lives along Tester Road. He first became aware of the shooting on his way to class at Everett Community College. He said there has been some drug activity in the area in the past.

Even so, it was hard for him to comprehend a shooting along the quiet stretch of countryside lined with trees, pastures and horse crossing signs.

“You always hear about it in other places across the country,” he said. “I never thought it would be in Monroe or Tester Road.”

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

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