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January 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Marysville cop fired over child’s shooting could get job back

A former Marysville police officer, who was fired last year after his 3-year-old son fatally shot his 7-year-old sister with the officer’s handgun, may get his job back.

An arbitrator this week determined that the city should rehire Officer Derek Carlile, 32, 0f Camano Island, according to his former lawyer, David Allen. Carlile was fired in May following an internal investigation into the March 2012 shooting that left his daughter, Jenna, dead.

The city indicated Carlile would be reinstated. “The City is prepared to carry out the arbitrator’s ruling and bring him back to a Police Officer position in the Marysville Police Department,” the city said in a statement.

It wasn’t immediately known whether Carlile would return to the department.

According to Snohomish County prosecutors, Carlile left his loaded .38-caliber revolver in the family’s van with their four children unattended while he and his wife stepped outside to chat with a friend in Stanwood. While the parents were out of the vehicle, the boy climbed out of his car seat, retrieved the gun and fired, killing the girl.

Prosecutors charged Carlile with manslaughter, saying he was criminally negligent for  leaving the gun where his son could reach it, but a jury was unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutors decided not to retry Carlile and asked a judge to dismiss the charge, saying they did not believe they would be able to find a jury that could reach a verdict.

After the shooting, Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said that Carlile, who had been on the force since 2009, was “an outstanding officer and a phenomenal person. He’s very caring about his community and about his job.” Many of Carlile’s colleagues attended Carlile’s trial in his support.

However, another law-enforcement officer — a member of the team  that investigated the shooting — said that while many investigators felt sorry for Carlile, most did not believe he could any longer be an effective law-enforcement officer.

“What kind of example can he be?” said the detective, who asked not to be named. “Who sees the devastation of a careless moment more often than a police officer? Who knows more about how dangerous a gun can be?”

The Marysville Police Officers Association filed a grievance over his firing, and an arbitrator ruled this week that Carlile should not have been terminated.

Allen said that Carlile is currently working outside of law enforcement and has not yet decided whether to return to the force. Nevertheless, Allen said, Carlile was pleased with the decision.


Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: accidental shooting, manslaughter, Marysville Police Department


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