EVERETT — The man accused of entering the Snohomish County Courthouse with several weapons, triggering an hourslong lockdown earlier this month, was charged Thursday with six felonies.
David Hsu, of Woodinville, faces six counts of second-degree unlawful firearm possession and three misdemeanors: carrying a concealed weapon, unlawful display of a weapon and disorderly conduct. On Friday, he remained in the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
Hsu, 32, was set to be arraigned Friday afternoon, but it was postponed to Tuesday.
At 12:21 p.m. on Dec. 12, a marshal at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett saw a man, later identified as Hsu, enter the courthouse doors and head toward the security checkpoint, according to the charges filed in Superior Court. Hsu had two semi-automatic rifles slung across his back, magazine pouches across his chest and what appeared to be a black handgun. He was also wearing ballistic armor.
The marshal reportedly told Hsu to stop, show his hands and not touch the weapons. The marshal readied his duty gun. Hsu complied with the demands, setting the rifles on the ground away from him.
Another marshal told Hsu that if he reached for the guns, he’d be shot, according to the charges.
Hsu told the marshal he had other weapons. He was there to see two judges and the sheriff over child custody arrangements, police reported. The marshal told Hsu he should contact an attorney, but he said that was too expensive. He wanted to make people listen to him. The suspect reported he wasn’t supposed to have guns.
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. Since their divorce, he’d become increasingly paranoid, she later told police. 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.
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, according to a Snohomish County sheriff’s detective’s report.
During the Dec. 12 incident, authorities spent about three hours negotiating with Hsu. No one could enter the courthouse and work there was halted. And Hsu told authorities he wasn’t going to leave, according to the charging papers. He didn’t expect to live through the situation.
The Woodinville man reportedly told police he did not want to hurt anyone. He also didn’t want to get shot, but said it would be the fault of law enforcement if he was.
Over the course of the negotiations, the suspect worked hard not to alarm police, making it very clear what he was doing with every movement he made. He didn’t want to make any sudden movements, the charges say.
After the extensive negotiations, Hsu surrendered. Police took him into custody without injuries. Authorities found more weapons, according to court papers.
In all, officers recovered:
• Two rifles with bayonets and rounds in the chamber
• a Glock
• a .45-caliber pistol,
• a Smith & Wesson revolver
• a .32-caliber Kel-Tec pistol
• over 300 rounds of ammunition
• a ballistic armor vest
• a vest with ballistic armor plates
• two backpacks with further armor inserts
• numerous journals with handwritten notes
• at least six knives
• a hatchet
• a pair of brass knuckles
• and, a copy of the October restraining order approved against Hsu
Meanwhile, the defendant’s mother has been trying to sell her condo in Woodinville, she reportedly told a detective. But a safe bolted to the floor filled with Hsu’s guns has made the sale impossible.
In the charges Thursday, deputy prosecutor Elise Deschenes argued Hsu has the potential to commit violence if released from custody.
“He used the display of weapons in an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice,” Deschenes wrote. “… It is likely he will try again; with a risk he will use additional violence to do so.”
Court records show the suspect has no criminal history.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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