Three state troopers get together while helping civilians get their cars out of the parking garage during a lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Three state troopers get together while helping civilians get their cars out of the parking garage during a lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Police: Armed suspect tried to confront Everett judges over custody fight

The man reportedly brought six guns to the Snohomish County Courthouse, leading to a three-hour standoff. A judge set bail at $1 million.

EVERETT — The Woodinville man who caused a three-hour lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday had a half-dozen guns and upwards of 300 rounds of ammunition, according to a new police report.

In the suspect’s first court appearance, Snohomish County District Court Presiding Judge Jennifer Rancourt found probable cause for several charges and set bail at $1 million. The suspect remained in the Snohomish County Jail on Tuesday afternoon.

David Hsu, 32, came to the courthouse in Everett demanding to see “two judges and the sheriff” to change arrangements for custody of his child, Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Myles Bittinger wrote in his report.

In a petition for a protection order last year, Hsu’s ex-wife wrote she feared “murder/suicide by firearm.” She noted he always has a gun on his hip.

“His mental health is tenuous and I fear removing his child from him will break it,” she wrote. “He’s very angry with me.”

The ex-wife urged mental health treatment in the petition. In a response filed in court, the suspect claimed she was lying.

In January, then-Commissioner Patrick Moriarty, now a Superior Court judge, denied the protection order request, ruling a “preponderance of the evidence has not established that there is domestic violence.”

Then in October, a Snohomish County Superior Court Commissioner signed a one-year restraining order against Hsu, protecting his ex-wife. The order notes “the Restrained Person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the Protected Person.” A few days later, he was served with the order, court records show.

Also in October, the King County Sheriff’s Office revoked his concealed pistol license, according to court papers.

A member of the bomb squad prepares some gear during a lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A member of the bomb squad prepares some gear during a lockdown at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Last month, Hsu told police, he tried to buy a 16-gauge shotgun, but was denied because the background check showed the active protection order, the detective wrote in his report.

Around 12:30 p.m. Monday, the suspect entered the courthouse at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. carrying several guns, including a pistol in a carrier on his chest, another police report states. He also had a duffel bag with two rifles inside. In the courthouse lobby before the security checkpoint, he took off his coat, revealing body armor, knives and high-capacity magazines.

Courthouse marshals ordered Hsu to drop his weapons at gunpoint, but he refused, Bittinger wrote. He told them he wasn’t giving up his guns, but he placed them on the ground.

The Woodinville man reportedly didn’t directly threaten anyone, or point guns at them.

Police asked why Hsu brought guns to the courthouse. He reportedly responded that he wanted to get people’s attention and make them listen to him about his child custody concerns, according to police. A lawyer was too expensive, he reportedly said.

While the suspect was in the courthouse lobby, authorities had a plan ready to use deadly force if he moved further into the courthouse, according to court documents.

Bittinger wrote he was “extremely concerned that David posed an imminent danger to innocent members of the community inside the courthouse as well as Court staff, if he were allowed access to those people, due to his stated anger about the protection order, the custody of his daughter and the restriction of his firearms rights.”

Police reportedly told Hsu they couldn’t bring judges to talk with him. He noted he’d settle for getting them on a Zoom call. Bittinger thought the man would’ve harmed judicial officers if given the opportunity, the detective wrote in his report.

A member of the sheriff’s office puts up police tape at the Snohomish County Courthouse after an armed intruder forced a lockdown Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A member of the sheriff’s office puts up police tape at the Snohomish County Courthouse after an armed intruder forced a lockdown Monday, in downtown Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

After three hours of negotiations, Hsu surrendered to law enforcement. He was taken into custody without injury, according to court documents. No one was hurt in the lengthy standoff.

Police found two 7.62×39 rifles with loaded magazines, a 9 mm Glock, a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol, a .44 Magnum revolver, a Kel-Tec .32-caliber handgun and over 300 rounds of ammunition, Bittinger wrote. The suspect also had at least six knives, a hatchet, a pair of brass knuckles and journals with “rambling handwritten notations.”

On Tuesday, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office filed a petition in Superior Court for an extreme risk protection order to bar Hsu from having guns. On Tuesday, Judge Rancourt approved a temporary order requiring Hsu surrender all of his firearms.

At 5:50 p.m. Monday, the Woodinville man was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of two felonies, intimidating a judge and unlawful firearm possession, as well as investigation of resisting arrest, carrying a concealed pistol without a license, disorderly conduct and having weapons in a place where they are prohibited.

The suspect and his attorney requested Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard not rule on the case since he was in the courthouse at the time of the lockdown. Judge Rancourt did not find probable cause for the judge intimidation and weapons in a prohibited place allegations. She did find probable cause for unlawful firearm possession, a felony, and several misdemeanors.

In court Tuesday afternoon, deputy prosecutor Elise Deschenes argued Hsu “did not like rulings of this court and directly intended to interfere with the administration of justice in the family courts by coming in and demanding new hearings highly armed in this courthouse.”

She asked for $1 million bail. The defense urged little to no bail, noting Hsu has no criminal history and the allegations weren’t for violent offenses.

Rancourt sided with the prosecution.

She said: “Based on the very serious nature of the allegations in this case, the court does find there’s a substantial likelihood that Mr. Hsu poses a significant risk of committing a future violent offense.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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