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May 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Marysville cop charged in daughter’s accidental shooting death

Snohomish County prosecutors have charged a Marysville police officer with second-degree manslaughter in the accidental shooting death of his 7-year-old daughter in March in Stanwood.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the officer, Derek Carlile, “created a substantial risk of death” by leaving a loaded handgun inside the family’s van within reach of his four children. “Though the undeniable tragedy and grief that has stricken the defendant and his family is staggering, compassion must be balanced with accountability for the acts which caused it,” according to the affidavit signed by Snohomish County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Paul.

Carlile’s attorney, David Allen, issued a statement today in which he expressed disappointment that the officer had been charged. “Derek Carlile is a dedicated law enforcement professional who carried his weapon when off-duty as a police officer,” the statement reads. “While he takes full responsibility for this tragic accident, his actions were not criminal and he intends to vigorously defend this charge.”

To read a news release from Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe, click here.

Carlile is scheduled to be arraigned June 5.

Carlile was on his way to a wedding with his wife and four young children on March 10 when they stopped in Stanwood to drop off something at an art gallery where his wife does volunteer work, according to a police report. Carlile and his wife were standing outside their Volkswagen van when they heard a “pop.”

One of their daughters got out of the car and said something about their son and a gun, according to the report.

Carlile, 30, told police that he believed his son, whose name and age have not been released, found his handgun and accidentally shot his sister, 7-year-old Jenna. Carlile ran back to the van and found his oldest child slumped over with glazed eyes.

The girl, who had been shot in the abdomen, died the next day at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.

The handgun used in the shooting was not Carlile’s service revolver, but a .38-caliber revolver he usually wore in an ankle holster. He told a Stanwood deputy he believed it had been left in a “cubby” under the van’s dashboard.

Carlile told police his gun was out of sight because his wife’s purse was in front of it.

Carlile, a Camano Island resident who has been with the Marysville department since 2009, has been on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting, according to Marysville police.

Jenna was a student at Utsalady Elementary School on Camano Island.

She was the second of four children shot within seven weeks in Washington state and one of two involving the child of a law-enforcement officer.

On Feb. 22, a 9-year-old Bremerton boy brought to school a gun that accidentally discharged and critically wounded a classmate, Amina Kocer-Bowman, 9. He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to probation and counseling.

In a plea deal, the boy’s mother, Jamie Lee Chaffin, 34, pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a third-degree felony assault charge.

Her boyfriend, Douglas L. Bauer, 50, has been charged with assault and unlawful weapons possession. The Kitsap County prosecuting attorney alleges the two were negligent in allowing the boy access to the handgun in their home.

Pierce County prosecutors have filed second-degree-manslaughter charges against two people in a case in which a 3-year-old boy, Julio Segura-McIntosh, found a gun and accidentally shot and killed himself March 14 in Tacoma. Jahnisha McIntosh, 23, and her boyfriend, Eric Vita, 22, were criminally responsible for leaving McIntosh’s son in a car with a handgun within reach without adult supervision, prosecutors say.

On April 10, the 10-year-old daughter of a  Spokane police officer was shot in the leg with her father’s duty weapon. Officer Barry O’Connell, an 18-year police-department veteran, is on paid leave while police investigate the shooting.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accidental shooting, Marysville, Stanwood

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