Olympia police have arrested a 46-year-old man in connection with a Jan. 20 incident in which the windows of two downtown businesses were shot out.
Brandon Martin of Thurston County appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Mary Sue Wilson on Thursday. The judge found probable cause for four charges: two counts of second-degree malicious mischief, one count of reckless endangerment, and one count of witness tampering.
Martin will be released from the Thurston County jail on his personal recognizance.
One of the businesses damaged during the Jan. 20 incident, Our Table, located at 460 Fourth Ave. E., had employees and customers inside during the attack, said Lt. Paul Lower. However, no one was injured.
A witness walking down the street reported feeling something whiz past their head. A window at Dumpster Values, located at 302 Fourth Ave. E., also was broken.
Detectives identified the suspect after locating the pickup truck involved, Lower said. Surveillance footage from downtown businesses shows the truck in the area during the shooting.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for the truck and identified the vehicle’s owner. They also found a receipt for a paintball gun purchased on Jan. 19, the day before the attack, Lower said.
“From that we were able to determine probable cause for an arrest,” Lower said.
When detectives spoke to Martin, he said that he had been drinking and was upset about the protests of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to court documents. He said he takes responsibility for his actions.
When detectives talked to his wife, she said that Martin had asked her to lie about the incident, according to court documents. She said she wasn’t with Martin during the incident, but he had called and asked her to give him a ride home because he was intoxicated and upset about the protests.
Martin left his truck parked downtown, and his wife drove him home.
Witnesses said Martin yelled profanities while he was allegedly firing the paintball gun, but Lower said Martin’s message won’t change the charges.
“The message is not our focus,” Lower said. “Our focus is that this person destroyed someone else’s property and targeted small businesses downtown. That is not appropriate behavior.”
Damage to the two businesses is estimated at $4,000.
On Sunday, Our Table co-owner Mike Holbein described the attack as “really scary and really sad” for him, his employees and the two customers present at the time.
He said one pane of glass shattered, and another larger pane came crashing down. One of his customers hit the floor so fast he thought that person had been hit by the shots.
This is the second time in recent months that Dumpster Values has been vandalized. In August, a group of protesters painted anti-police messages on downtown storefronts, buildings and bus stops, including there.