Members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office patrol along Paine Field Way during a police standoff Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, in south Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office patrol along Paine Field Way during a police standoff Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, in south Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Daylong standoff ends with Everett gunman, who will survive, family says

A SWAT team detained a suspected gunman late Wednesday, hours after a shootout with police shut down a south Everett neighborhood.

EVERETT — After a roughly 10-hour standoff with a man accused of opening fire on neighbors and Everett police, a SWAT team took a suspect into custody late Wednesday.

Police had briefly exchanged gunfire with the man at a home east of Paine Field, forcing evacuations in the neighborhood.

On Thursday morning, the man in his early 20s was being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life threatening injuries, a family member told The Daily Herald. The suspect was reportedly getting surgery on his left hand as of 2 p.m. Thursday.

Meanwhile, Everett police handed over the investigation of the incident to the Skagit and Island County Multiple Agency Response Team, a cadre of detectives assigned to police use of force cases. A spokesperson for the team, Burlington police Sgt. Mike Lumpkin, had not provided any information about the case as of Thursday afternoon, saying he was “still working on establishing a family representative,” in line with recent state law reforms around police shootings.

Around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect’s father Christian Reyes received a picture from his son’s mother showing a bullet hole in the downstairs ceiling of her home in the 111000 block of Paine Field Way.

“If something happens to us, it is going to be your responsibility,” she reportedly texted Reyes.

She told him she was calling the cops to report her son — a decision the father opposed, he said.

Officers arrived at the scene to find the man outside. The gunman fired at least one round at officers, Everett police Sgt. Kyle Coleman said. Police reportedly returned fire, and the man retreated into the home.

There were no reports of officers injured.

One witness shared video with The Herald, showing an armed man in a gray hoodie just outside the south Everett home. The gunman turned to the camera and fired a single gunshot at a window where the witness was filming. Nobody was hit.

In another video filmed by a witness, the alleged gunman appeared in a front doorway with a sheet covering his head and most of his body. At least one armed officer stood feet away from the door, hidden by a Snohomish County sheriff’s tactical vehicle. Then, with a pop from the officer’s weapon, the man in the open doorway collapsed, still covered by the sheet.

A puff of smoke wafted above the armored truck.

Officers kept their distance.

After about a minute, the man got up and shut the door.

A third video showed the alleged gunman walk out of the house, naked. He stood outside for a few seconds with his arms outstretched and turned upward. He then walked back inside.

Police called in SWAT teams, more armored vehicles and backup from neighboring police agencies.

“And here we are,” Reyes said around 3:45 p.m., behind the police barrier.

Reyes tried to convince officers to let him talk to his son. He said he was the only person his son trusts. He feared law enforcement would kill the young man.

“He won’t talk to anybody else, he won’t listen to anybody else,” Reyes told The Herald. “If I have to give my life for his, I will (expletive) do it right here, right now, no doubt about it.”

Officers, however, did not respond to his request to speak with his son, he said.

Over the ensuing hours, officers searched the home with drones and pumped the house full of pepper spray-like irritants, according to emergency radio traffic. But they struggled to find the man. The standoff wore on into the night.

On Paine Field Way, fire engines and patrol cars lined the streets for blocks.

Neighbors were advised to “shelter in place” or evacuate, stranding residents who were unable to get past a police blockade. Authorities knocked down a fence at 112th Street SW, allowing at least a dozen fleeing people to load onto an Everett Transit bus.

Kally Tran said four or five officers showed up at her doorstep a few houses down and escorted her from the scene. She waited in the car at a nearby coffee stand with her husband until about 12:30 a.m.

Another resident, Aimee Zimmerman, took her family to her daughter’s house in Woodinville for the night, leaving behind their new puppy.

“I’m worried because I didn’t know what was going on, and there were so many people,” Tran said. “It was just one kid.”

Police radio traffic suggested the suspect was in custody before midnight.

By 12:15 a.m., Everett officers reopened 112th Street SW, according to a Facebook post from the police department.

Paine Field Way remained closed at the time.

The street was open again Thursday.

Officers were still at the scene, interviewing neighbors about what they had seen and heard.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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