Man guilty in shooting spree that targeted police stations, officers

EVERETT — The Lake Stevens man responsible for last year’s shooting spree that targeted police in three cities is facing decades behind bars when he is sentenced later this month.

A Snohomish County jury on Thursday convicted Hans Hansen of multiple counts of first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and discharging a firearm. Jurors deliberated for two days but could not reach a verdict on two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Hansen, 44, was accused of trying to kill two Marysville police officers, including Sgt. James Maples, who was shot in the leg. The longtime officer also was hit by shrapnel.

Jurors convicted Hansen of assaulting Maples and four other officers.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler declined to say Thursday if Hansen will be retried on the attempted murder charges, but said the sentence that the defendant faces Nov. 24 “should amount to his natural life in prison.”

The defense had argued that Hansen wasn’t aiming at police officers. He was desperate to die but taking his own life was contrary to his religious beliefs, jurors were told.

Hansen’s wife testified during the three-week trial that her husband began drinking and became depressed after he was told that he likely was going to lose his leg to a vascular condition. His cabinet business was failing and his family was facing foreclosure on their Lake Stevens home.

“Everything he was as a man, he watched it going away,” defense attorney Jon Scott said during closing arguments.

Hansen was angry Oct. 15, 2014 and intended to kill police officers before he died, Stemler argued. He shot up the police stations in Granite Falls and Lake Stevens. He rolled into Marysville and fired at least 33 times at Marysville officers James Tolbert and Bronwyn Kieland who were pinned down in their patrol cars.

Maples was shot moments later as Hansen unleashed a spray of bullets on the sergeant’s patrol car. Hansen was armed with four different guns, including two AK-47s.

Maples and other Marysville officers testified that the gunfire seemed to surround them. They feared that their colleagues were dead. They thought of their families at home.

Marysville police eventually set up a marksman to stop Hansen. He was struck in the head by a single bullet. Hansen urged medical staff to let him die.

Marysville police officers packed the courtroom Thursday as the verdict was read. They shook Stemler’s hand and hustled off to his office to discuss the outcome.

Just nine days after last year’s shooting spree, Marysville police were some of the first to arrive at Marysville Pilchuck High School, where a freshman shot five of his friends before killing himself.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley.

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