A 46-year-old Olympia man appeared in court Tuesday after he allegedly shot and wounded a 20-year-old skateboarder during an altercation on Plum Street in Olympia late Monday.
The skateboarder was shot once, and was listed in stable condition at Providence St. Peter Hospital after surgery, according to the Olympia Police Department. He was shot in the arm and the bullet traveled into his chest.
The suspect, Michael W. Volz, appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon on Tuesday and bail was set at $10,000. The judge found probable cause for one felony charge: first-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon.
Volz was booked into the Thurston County jail late Monday after he called 911 just after 8 p.m. and reported he had shot someone. According to court documents, Volz told an Olympia police detective that he had been driving when the skateboarder jaywalked in front of him. Volz reported that he honked and the skateboarder became hostile.
Volz said that the skateboarder tried to break into his car. He said he feared for his life, so he took out his gun and shot the victim once, according to court documents.
Witness testimony varies, court documents show.
One witness reported seeing Volz point the gun through the windshield at the skateboarder, and that the skateboarder broke the passenger side window with the skateboard. Other witnesses were unsure whether the window was broken by the skateboard or the bullet.
Witnesses said Volz left the scene quickly and pulled into a gas station parking lot, where he called 911.
Detectives reported that broken glass on the ground was positioned in a way that could suggest the car was moving when the window shattered.
Blood splatter on the car could indicate the car was moving when the victim was shot, according to court documents.
Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Graham asked the judge to set bail at $100,000 because of the nature of the alleged crime.
He said that instead of firing, Volz could have driven through the green light and left the scene.
But Volz’s attorney, Dennis Schroader, said that his client has no prior criminal history and that he feared for his life.
“The fact is, he did feel threatened,” Schroader said.
He said that his client has strong ties to the community. He ran for Olympia City Council and owns a business in town.
According to The Olympian’s archives, Volz unsuccessfully pursued a City Council position in 2013.
Schroader asked that Volz be released on his personal recognizance.
Dixon disagreed with both attorneys.
He said that because of the serious nature of the case, bail was warranted. But because Volz has no criminal history and has strong ties to Olympia, $100,000 wasn’t warranted. He set bail at $10,000.
Olympia Police Department detectives are investigating the case.
Anyone who might have witnessed this incident is asked to call detectives at 360-753-8300.