Investigators are shown at the scene of a shooting on Whiskey Creek Beach Road west of Joyce on Oct. 8 in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Investigators are shown at the scene of a shooting on Whiskey Creek Beach Road west of Joyce on Oct. 8 in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam Sheriff’s Office urges charges against man shot in Joyce

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has recommended several misdemeanor charges for a man who was shot in Joyce in October and an assault charge for his wife.

Garry Edwards could face a number of charges, including one count of disorderly conduct, one count of reckless driving, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count of fourth-degree assault after the Oct. 8 incident that led to Steve Thompson shooting Edwards, which the Sheriff’s Office has said was in self-defense.

The Sheriff’s Office recommends a single count of fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for his wife, Melissa Edwards.

No charges have been recommended against Thompson.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is reviewing reports and it may take two weeks or more to make a charging decision, said Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin.

“There’s a ton of discovery,” she said.

Detective Josh Ley said the case file is more than 1,000 pages while there are about 50 pages of narrative.

The charges stem from the Oct. 8 shooting on the 100 block of Whiskey Creek Beach Road, about 18 miles west of Port Angeles off state Highway 112.

When law enforcement arrived they were met with a chaotic scene that involved a vehicle that had been run off the roadway, a man who had been shot in his left bicep and several people and vehicles in the road.

Edwards suffered a single gunshot to his upper left arm and chest and after he was initially transported to Olympic Medical Center, he was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Officials have said the incident appears to have started with Edwards’ belief that Thompson had been trespassing on his family’s property while hunting.

Edwards’ adult son told investigators that Thompson had trespassed in the past and that Edwards went to confront him.

Thompson told investigators he was driving back to state Highway 112 when Edwards’ vehicle stopped in the middle of the road, blocking him.

Thompson said he drove around the vehicle and that Edwards followed him, eventually passing him in a no passing zone and sideswiping him, causing Thompson to lose control of his vehicle.

As Thompson opened his driver’s door, Garry Edwards began to assault him by punching him in the face, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Thompson had swelling and bruising on his face and Thompson’s adult son was a passenger in Thompson’s vehicle and confirms Thompson’s account.

Thompson told investigators he was in fear for his life and he fired a single round from his 9mm pistol.

Thompson said he was hunting on Merrill & Ring land in the area and investigators have examined GPS data from his vehicle.

Ley said that GPS data showed that once Thompson was in the area he remained on public roads until the incident.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said in October that even if Thompson was trespassing, “it does not justify the events that transpired.”

It was muzzleloader elk season at the time and a black powder rifle and hunting equipment were found in Thompson’s vehicle.

Investigators have said damage to Thompson’s and Edwards’ vehicles was consistent with Thompson’s claim that Edwards forced Thompson off of the road.


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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