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April 2, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Sheriff: Intruder killed in North Bend likely intoxicated

The North Bend man who was fatally shot by a homeowner on Friday night after reportedly breaking into a stranger’s home and threatening to kill the homeowner was likely drunk and high on cocaine, according to Interim King County Sheriff Steve Strachan.

Strachan said that the suspect had been out drinking “heavily” with friends on Friday night when he became “combative.” The friends dropped the man off near North Bend and he went inside a gas station just off Interstate 90 and caused some type of disturbance, Strachan said. Gas station employees called 911.

The man, who has not yet been identified, then went into a nearby neighborhood and started pounding on the doors and windows of a home in the 300 block of Southeast Fifth Street . The homeowner also called 911.

The man then apparently threw a propane tank through the back window of another home in the 400 block of South Orchard Drive about 11:40 p.m.and went inside, according to the sheriff’s office.

The 46-year-old homeowner armed himself and he and his girlfriend retreated into a bathroom to dial 911 while the suspect started destroying the home and making threats. The homeowner repeatedly ordered the man to leave and said he was armed, but the suspect would not back down, Strachan said.

When the intruder forced his way into the bedroom, the homeowner shot him. The gunshots were heard by sheriff’s deputies who were already in the neighborhood, Strachan said.

“The last thing he wanted to do is use force,” Strachan said about the homeowner. He said that the homeowner and his girlfriend are devestated and refuse to return to the home.

While the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the results of a toxicology analysis of the suspect’s bloodstream, Strachan said that the man’s friends told deputies that he had been drinking heavily that night while they were out at a bar. The friends also said that the man had been using cocaine, Strachan said.

The suspect has a history of mental illness, Strachan said.

While Strachan had said that the homeowner opened fire in self-defense, he said that it will ultimately be up to the King County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed against the homeowner.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Fatal shooting, home invasion, intruder

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