LAKE STEVENS — A Marysville man who was shot in the chest with a .357 Magnum revolver last December during a road-rage dispute could be charged with assault. That’s the recommendation of police.
Detectives say the man, 26, was the aggressor in a confrontation that started with salty words in the Frontier Village parking lot in Lake Stevens. Before he was shot, he is accused of beating a Lake Stevens man over the head with a 3-pound flashlight.
No charges are recommended against the 25-year-old man who said he shot in self defense.
Police recently wrapped up their investigation. They sent the case to Snohomish County prosecutors who will decide on charges.
“The entire situation could have been avoided if each individual would have gone their own separate way,” Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said.
Patrol officers were called Dec. 29 after a report of an assault with a weapon at the intersection of North Davies Road and 96th Avenue Northeast.
Bystanders called 911 after watching the Marysville man get out of the passenger side of a Toyota truck and assault the driver of a Subaru, police said.
The man in the Subaru was struck with a flashlight. He grabbed a gun and shot, leaving his attacker with wounds to his arm and chest, according to police reports.
The man who was shot was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The other man went to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett with head injuries, including a concussion and wounds that required stitches inside his mouth.
The man with the flashlight was a passenger in a pickup truck. He and his friend were driving slowly through the parking lot after picking up tacos at a fast food drive-through.
The man in the Subaru was behind them. He became aggravated by how slow they were driving.
When he pulled into a right turn lane alongside the pickup, the Subaru driver said something derogatory. He told detectives he didn’t believe anyone could hear him.
The man who was shot said the Subaru driver screamed something. He insisted that his friend turn the truck around to follow the car.
The drivers pulled to the side of the road a few blocks away.
That’s when the truck’s passenger jumped out of the car with a flashlight, witnesses told police.
In an interview with a detective, the man with the flashlight said he saw a gun when he approached the Subaru’s driver.
The detective wondered why the man didn’t back away.
“Either way, you decide to take on somebody with a gun with a flashlight,” the detective said.
The suspect acknowledged hitting the man, saying he was trying to contain him.
“I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I had never been in that situation before.”
In an interview with detectives, the shooter said he feared for his life.
He said it was as though the man who approached his car was swinging a bat.
“I don’t know how many times I was hit,” he said. “I looked up and saw him ready to swing again and all I can see in his face is hatred and anger and rage.”
He added, “The survival mode kicked in and I knew if I didn’t do something to defend myself, this guy was going to kill me.”
Deputy prosecutor Ed Stemler said Thursday the case had just arrived and no decision has been made about charges.
“There is no good side to road rage,” he said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.