Man told police he used firearm because he felt threatened downtown

Staff writerMay 2, 2014 

A man told police he shot another man twice because he felt threatened during a dispute in downtown Olympia about 11:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Olympia police received a report that a car had been broken into at Fourth Avenue and Adams Street. While police were on the way to the location, they received an update that shots had been fired from the location.

A man fired three shots during a dispute. One man was struck twice - once in the hand and once in the abdomen, Olympia Police Sgt. Aaron Jelcick said. According to OPD's news release, that person suffered "non life-threatening injuries."

Jeclick said he believes the man who was shot was released from an area hospital early Friday morning.

Olympia Police Sgt. Bryan Wyllie said Friday morning that police identified and interviewed the shooter, but he was released at the scene. He said two people were injured - the man who was shot and a woman who may have been struck by shrapnel.

No one has been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation. But Wyllie said detectives are still gathering information, and it's possible charges will be filed in connection with the shooting at a later date.

Jelcick said Friday that the man who shot the other man claimed self-defense. The shooter had a concealed carry license for his handgun, and he was not intoxicated, Jelcick added. Jelcick said the shooter also directed another person at the scene to call police during the confrontation.

"He was trying to do the right thing," Jelcick said. "He did try to hail police."

Jelcick said the investigation of the shooting is almost complete. When it is complete, it will be forwarded to the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney and it will be up to that office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed, he said.

Jelcick said police take any discharge of a firearm downtown very seriously. The shooter was alone during the confrontation and was confronted by a group of people, including the man he saw break into another parked vehicle, Jelcick said. The shooter told police he used his firearm because he felt threatened, he added.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call OPD's detectives division at 360-753-8300.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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