SILVERDALE — The family of the man killed in Silverdale on Friday night said he was in the process of "turning his life around."
Matthew James Netter, 23, of Bremerton died after a shooting that involved a Poulsbo Police officer who was working on a DUI emphasis patrol at Silverdale’s Whaling Days Festival, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson.
Netter, who was driving a 1987 Honda Accord, was pulled over at 10:29 p.m. Friday into the Timberland Bank parking lot at Northwest Bucklin Hill Road and Northwest Mickelberry Road, Wilson said.
Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer said in a written statement that the conflict began quickly. "Almost immediately, the officer was engaged in a struggle with the driver and shots were fired," Boyer said.
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The police officer involved in the shooting, a five-year veteran of the Poulsbo Police Department, was not injured. The officer’s name is being withheld during the investigation, which is being conducted by the Sheriff’s Office, Wilson said.
Because of the multi-agency DUI emphasis patrol that night, additional law enforcement officers were on the scene almost immediately, Wilson said. Police reported finding a gun on the passenger side of Netter’s car.
Emergency crews responding to the scene tried to get Netter flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but were informed it would take a half-hour before it could arrive. Instead, Netter was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, where he was pronounced dead.
No other details of Nettle’s death were given. The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office referred all questions to the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office statement indicates further details about the incident will be withheld until the investigation is finished and turned over to the Kitsap County Prosecutor.
Netter’s uncle, Mark Schmidt, issued a statement on behalf of the family on Saturday.
"We’re dealing with the news and we’re not commenting on the incident at this time until the investigation is complete. We would like the media to respect the family’s privacy. Matthew, the father of two boys, was a loving a father and was in the process of turning his life around. He will be missed," Schmidt said.
Washington State Patrol records indicate Netter was convicted four times for different felonies, beginning in 2001 when he was convicted of taking a vehicle without permission. The most recent conviction was in March 2009 for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
Wilson said a Navy petty officer was in the officer’s car on a ride-along program and was not injured. The Poulsbo officer will be placed on administrative leave pending the Sheriff’s Office investigation and an internal investigation.
"Any death by violent means is tragic," said Boyer in the statement. "However, I’m extremely relieved that this officer recognized the threat, took action and prevailed. We are finding situations similar to this are all too common now and it exemplifies the dangers that deputies, officers and troopers face daily."The family of the man killed in Silverdale on Friday night said he was in the process of "turning his life around."