Residents return home after tense SWAT standoff near Arlington

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 11:55 AM

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Tensions have eased near Arlington following a SWAT team standoff Sunday. A gunman caused panic for several hours after he opened fire on the public and police.

After several hours the suspect was found dead at the scene. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office could not confirm if law enforcement shot and killed the suspect, or if he died another way.

Authorities said Monday they were no longer looking for a possible second suspect and only one person was behind the shootings. Deputies say the area is safe.
  
The incident started about 1:30 p.m. Sunday when a man called 911 to report he had been shot in the leg while standing in his driveway, said Lt. Steve Dittoe of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

When deputies from several police agencies arrived on the scene, the citizen reported that he'd been hearing shots for about 15 minutes.

"Immediately our officers understood that there was someone in the woods, shooting at either vehicles or people in the area, so we initiated a SWAT team call out," said Dittoe.

Dittoe said SWAT team members and an armored vehicle also came under fire. Several civilian vehicles were also hit with gunfire.

"From what I've heard from down at the scene there was a lot of shooting this afternoon - at us," he said.

People who live in the area of the 17000 block of Jim Creek Road were asked to stay in their homes and report anything suspicious. "And I grew up in this area and it's always been pretty peaceful."

"You always think this happens somewhere else until it happens in your own backyard," said Ward Hoston, who encountered the road blocks.

Access in the area of the scene remained limited through the night until officers could confirm there was not a second suspect.

Neighbor Michael Cooper, who lives across the street from the property in question, said he hears shots come from the property every Sunday afternoon.

"I don't like high-powered rifle shooting," Cooper said.  "I'd walk out in my yard and listen just to hear if any bullets were coming by because it sounded like it was right in my backyard."

About 70 people were at a Sons of Norway camp at Riley Lake. They were in lockdown.

"We all just banded together and made sure that we let everybody know what was going on. and told everybody to get out of the pool and the lake and not be out in the open field and everybody's just been kind of waiting to hear updates," said camper Berit Kuchs.

Around  8 p.m., Snonomish County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART) confirmed the suspect was dead and one weapon had been recovered. After an intense search of the area, authorities said the area was considered safe and Jim Creek Road was reopened to to traffic.

The man who was shot in the leg was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

Anyone who believes their vehicle was struck by stray gunfire during Sunday's incident is asked to called the anonymous tip line at 425-388-3845.

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