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Neighbors protected Whatcom County deputies injured in gunfight

The neighbors said they fired their own guns at the suspect to get the deputies to safety.

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The Good Samaritans described as protecting Whatcom County deputies during a gunfight, said they were fully prepared to injure the suspect in order to defend themselves, their families and the deputies.

Two Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies were shot during a confrontation with Joel Young during a gunfire exchange in a residential neighborhood in Peaceful Valley on Thursday.

Jesse Marshall and Cody Deeter live down the street from Young, who on Friday was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and is being held on $5 million bail.

"He stepped out, with a gun, being a threat. I'm a veteran. I've been to combat. I know how to handle it, it's not fun," Marshall said.

He and Deeter were working on building a wooden bench on Thursday when they heard gunshots.

A police report describing the incident said Young argued with a neighbor who was burning garbage in the yard. The smoke from the fire entered Young's home, which "enraged" him, according to the probable cause report.

"And he came out yelling, cussing and stuff," Marshall said.

Marshall and Deeter told KING 5 the neighbor was burning wood and brush in the yard, not garbage. Young then allegedly fired a shotgun at the neighbor. That's when Marshall and Deeter intervened.

Neighbors called 911 and deputies arrived, which led to a confrontation between the deputies and Young.

Court records said Young shot at a deputy, who was injured in the head.

Deeter said he and his wife got their kids inside their home to safety and got his own firearm.

"We got the kids inside, went in, got guns to return fire. Come out and handle the situation," Marshall said.

A second deputy returned fire at Young, according to the police report. Young fired at the second deputy, who was injured, the report said. By this time, Marshall and Deeter said they fired back at Young to help protect the deputies.

"When I came around the corner, he was in the doorway and I unloaded. Just to get him to go away so we can get these guys back," Deeter said.

Neighbors looked after both injured deputies in the garage of an adjacent home. SWAT later arrived to surround Young's home and arrested him without incident.

Deeter said he knows one of the deputies who was injured.

"Amazing guy. Super personable. I can't imagine being his family right now," Deeter said.

RELATED: 2 Whatcom County sheriff's deputies could lose eyesight after being shot in the head on the job

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