Port Angeles area man who allegedly fired at house is ordered into treatment

PORT ANGELES — A man who allegedly fired a gun at a neighbor’s house, with one bullet glancing off a propane tank, was ordered to undergo 90 days of competency restoration treatment after a mental evaluation determined he met the criteria for schizophrenia.

Derek Darling, 40, of Port Angeles remained Monday in the Clallam County jail on $250,000 bail on charges of first-degree assault with a firearm and second-degree assault-firearm enhancement, after Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly issued the order Friday.

The Mountain Home Road resident shot at a nearby home that was under construction and that he insisted he owned at about noon July 24, according to the probable cause statement.

County records list a different owner.

Dispatchers heard gunshots when the resident called 9-1-1 at about 12:30 p.m.

Darling allegedly shot a half-dozen rounds from his bolt-action rifle, one grazing the resident’s propane tank, leaving a visible mark.

The resident was treated and discharged from Olympic Medical Center after he was hit in the face with glass fragments, according to the probable cause statement.

Darling will be placed in the custody of the state Department of Social and Health Services to be evaluated and treated according to Melly’s order.

According to a competency evaluation report by Barry Ward of DSHS’s Office of Forensic Mental Health Services, Darling said he was born in Asia and orphaned in Vietnam.

Darling said his identity was stolen, that he had degrees in law and medicine, owned extensive property and was independently wealthy.

He said he was hit by a truck in 1998, suffering a severed spine.

Darling’s sister said her brother was born in Port Angeles and had never been to Asia.

He was an endurance athlete, had taught yoga and had been in stable relationships before he became more distant 10 years ago, according to the report.

Her brother was caretaker at the residence where he lived, she said.

Darling is experiencing symptoms of a serious mental illness, making it highly unlikely he would understand during court proceedings, according to Ward.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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