Bail set at $250K for Mason County man who shot man taking shower on his property

Bruce Fanning appeared Monday in Mason County Superior Court.
Bruce Fanning appeared Monday in Mason County Superior Court. Kiro7 News

Bail was set at $250,000 on Monday for a Mason County homeowner who has admitted to fatally shooting an intruder in the shower on his property.

Belfair resident Bruce F. Fanning, 59, appeared Monday in Mason County Superior Court on one count of second-degree murder. Arraignment was set for April 10.

Fanning was arrested Saturday after calling 911 to report that he had shot and killed an intruder inside his business at 1520 E. Trails Road in Belfair. The business is in one of two houses on Fanning’s property where he lives.

According to court documents, Fanning told detectives that he entered the business Saturday morning and found an intruder showering.

Fanning said he told the intruder to leave, but the man replied with “non-understandable verbal threats.”

Fanning said he was afraid and thought the intruder was drunk.

Fanning left the building to retrieve a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber handgun, then returned and shot the intruder three times through the shower curtain, according to court documents.

Fanning told detectives he called 911 after shooting the man, but had no explanation as to why he didn’t call 911 before retrieving his gun, according to court documents.

The deceased man has been identified as Nathaniel Joseph Rosa, 31, of Bothell. According to his Facebook profile, Rosa worked as a paraeducator at Woodmoor Elementary School in Bothell.

Chief Criminal Deputy Ryan Spurling of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office told The Olympian that Rosa had been staying at a nearby residence. An investigation is ongoing.

“It doesn’t appear they knew each other,” Spurling said.

The sheriff’s office reports that “statements and evidence in this case do not support necessary/reasonable self-defense at this time.”

The sheriff’s office cites state law on the use of force (RCW 9A.16.020), which notes that force is lawful “whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary.”

The state’s self-defense legislation (RCW 9A.16.110) says “no person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting, by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property.”

In addition, Washington has no state law that requires a “duty to retreat” when a person is acting in self-defense.

Duty to retreat is defined as a requirement that a person must attempt to flee to a safe place rather than “standing your ground” and applying lethal force.