Wounded Pierce County sheriff's Sgt. Nicholas Hausner went home from the hospital Thursday, but not before making an arduous trip to Seattle to visit the bedside of his critically wounded colleague, Deputy Kent Mundell.
Hausner – discharged from Madigan Army Medical Center on Fort Lewis about 11:30 a.m. – rode to Harborview Medical Center in a sheriff’s department SUV escorted by more than a dozen other law-enforcement vehicles.
He spent more than an hour at the Seattle hospital before being driven home, where he planned to spend Christmas Day with his family and continue his recuperation, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Hausner, 43, insisted on visiting his friend despite suffering the effects of the gunshot wound he sustained to his neck when the two were ambushed Monday night by a drunken man outside Eatonville, Troyer said.
“It was a very long, hard day for him,” he said.
Mundell, 44, remained in “very critical condition” at the Seattle hospital intensive-care unit, where he has been since he and Hausner were hurt when 35-year-old David Edward Crable opened fire on them as they tried to escort him out of his brother’s home.
Mundell returned fire, killing Crable. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Officer reported Thursday that Crable died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
Mundell’s father flew in from Texas on Wednesday, and he and other relatives spent much of Thursday at his son’s side. Law enforcement officers from around the region continued to stand vigil outside Harborview and were being allowed in to see Mundell a few at a time.
The only visitors to be allowed in his room today are immediate family, Troyer said.
Friends are planning a candlelight vigil for Mundell on Sunday at the Puyallup fitness center where he frequently works out.
“He always had a smile, was always talking to people,” said Christine Saylor, who’s helping organize the vigil.
Troyer released more details Thursday about what happened inside the small house on Tanwax Court East on Monday evening, especially the role Crable’s 16-year-old daughter, Bryona, played once the gunfire began.
Hausner and Mundell were dispatched to the house after someone called 911 to report that Crable was “drunk and belligerent” and was refusing to leave the residence.
The deputies arrived, talked to Crable and thought they had convinced him to leave the house and allow one of them to give him a ride home.
The three men were walking out when Crable pulled a gun from under his shirt and shot Hausner, Troyer said.
Crable’s brother, Edward Jason Crable, and Edward’s roommate, Bridget Warren, grabbed Hausner, pulled him into another room and barricaded the door, the spokesman said.
Crable then turned his attention to Mundell, who had drawn his weapon, and the two exchanged multiple shots at close range. Both were hit.
It was then that Bryona Crable ran out from another room, jumped on her father and began wrestling him for his gun, Troyer said. Detectives believe she fought with her father until he succumbed to his wounds and died, he said.
“If that girl hadn’t have fought him, he might have gone back and shot the brother and the girlfriend and Nick again,” Troyer said.
The teenager then ran to a neighbor’s house and called 911, he said.
Troyer said Bryona Crable, Edward Jason Crable and Warren “all are devastated” by the attack and were praying for both deputies.
“They’re all sincerely sorry for what happened,” Troyer said.
A local Nordstrom store, the Toys for Tots program and deputies donated some items suitable for a teenage girl, so Bryona Crable could have Christmas today, he added.
“We wanted to do what we could for her,” Troyer said. “I can’t imagine being a 16-year-old girl and going through what she went through.”
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644