Marysville police describe rolling gun battle to jury

EVERETT — A jury was taken moment-by-moment Wednesday through the chaos and fear that a Granite Falls man brought to Marysville last fall after he drove into town and began shooting at police.

Hans Hansen, 44, is charged with 11 felonies, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Hansen doesn’t deny responsibility for the Oct. 15, 2014, gunfire, but his attorneys maintain he didn’t intend to cause anyone’s death that night except for his own, in an attempt at “suicide by cop.”

The bullets began flying after Marysville officers stopped a pickup truck that matched the description of one connected to gunfire minutes earlier outside police stations in Granite Falls and Lake Stevens.

Marysville officer Bronwyn Kieland told a Snohomish County Superior Court jury about tucking her patrol car in near another officer’s vehicle as the pickup slowed to a stop.

Gunfire erupted as she began to exit her car.

“It was continuous,” she said. “… The loudest gunshots sounded like cannons going off.”

As she darted toward cover, bullets struck sparks on the road near her feet.

“I could feel things in the air, moving past me,” she said.

Kieland said her thoughts turned to her sons. She didn’t have a shot. The pickup pulled away.

She could hear the hissing of air bleeding from police car tires shredded by bullets.

Then Marysville police Sgt. James Maples was on the radio reporting that he’d been shot. He was a short distance away along the route the pickup took when it left.

Kieland said she and other officers ran to his aid and tried to stabilize his wounds.

Meanwhile, other officers were being pulled into what had became a rolling gun battle along residential streets, jurors were told.

Officer Brad Smith said he’d maneuvered his patrol car to a location where the pickup truck was believed to be headed. When the driver spotted him, the man accelerated and drove in his direction, Smith said.

The officer was hopping from his vehicle when the man in the pickup truck opened fire.

The officer said he shot back. When the truck pulled away, Smith got into his patrol car and gave chase.

The truck headed west on Grove Street toward the intersection at 67th Avenue NE.

Sgt. Peter Shove said he’d been at Marysville Police Department headquarters a few blocks west when the first reports came in about somebody shooting at police departments in Granite Falls and Lake Stevens.

He and others decided it was prudent to park the department’s most decrepit patrol car out front, offering it as a target should the gunman head their way. Shove parked his patrol car nearby to keep watch.

Then he heard officers radio that they were about to stop the pickup.

He threw his car into gear, heading that direction. It was a dangerous stop and “I wanted to get there and help,” he said.

He heard gunfire and Maples radio that he’d been shot. Shove called for paramedics and then positioned his patrol car to block the intersection at 67th Avenue NE, near Grove Elementary School.

He wanted to keep passersby out of the gunman’s path. He also wanted to be ready to stop the pickup if he had the chance.

The truck sped into the intersection, heading west on Grove. Shove fell in behind trying make the stop.

The pickup’s driver kept rolling west while simultaneously pointing a rifle out of the cab and firing backward, Shove testified.

Bullets were sparking as they hit the pavement and “I just remember thinking how loud it was,” he said.

Smith and other officers joined the chase, each officer weaving across the roadway in “sort of a slalom” trying to make themselves less of a target.

“My recurrent thought was, ‘Stay in this. Don’t wreck. Don’t get shot. Stay in this and get this guy,’” Shove testified.

Other officers took up positions to the west. When the pickup truck approached, one fired into the cab. The truck hopped onto the curb and stopped.

The officers who testified Wednesday all recounted how Hansen tossed weapons from the truck and surrendered.

A bullet had struck the defendant in the head, carving a deep furrow that was spurting blood. The man repeatedly said the wound didn’t matter, that he was dead anyway, jurors were told.

Paramedics rushed in to render aid.

Shove said his thoughts then turned to his fellow officers. He asked emergency dispatchers to conduct a roll call.

“I had to know everybody was OK,” he said. “I need to know that and they needed to know that.”

Maples was the only officer injured.

While waiting for paramedics, officers controlled his bleeding by painfully binding his leg with a tourniquet.

Kieland was directed to stay with the wounded officer and she accompanied him on the ambulance ride to the hospital.

“He was holding my hand. He was upset. He kept saying, ‘Tell my wife I love her,’” she said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews

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