SEQUIM — Domestic violence off Priest Road led to an officer-involved shooting that left an unidentified man dead early Thursday morning, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement personnel from the sheriff’s office and Sequim Police Department investigated a domestic violence call in the 300 block of Priest Lane early Thursday morning that led to an unnamed woman being transported to Olympic Medical Center.
The woman told police that her boyfriend hit her over the head with an axe, according to a sheriff’s office press release. She was treated and later discharged, reportedly with non-life-threatening wounds.
During the investigation, deputies attempted to contact a male individual inside the shop building on the property, they said.
They heard a single gunshot coming from inside the shop, which also served as a residence, according to the press release.
While law enforcement officers maintained a perimeter on the shop building, others were summoned to the scene, the sheriff’s office said. They included detectives with the Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team (OPNET) and crisis negotiators with Sequim Police Department.
Detectives and negotiators attempted to establish communication with the person inside the structure.
Law officers then heard more gunshots coming from inside the shop, according to the sheriff’s department, and a State Patrol Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team was requested and arrived.
Law enforcement officers attempted to negotiate with the person inside the shop over the course of several hours, the sheriff’s office said, adding that multiple gunshots were fired from inside the building and rounds were fired in the direction of law enforcement officers at the site.
The person ultimately came out of the shop and fired a weapon at State Patrol SWAT officers, the sheriff’s office said, and the SWAT team returned fire.
Medics from Clallam County Fire District 3 provided aid to the man, but he died from his wounds, according to the sheriff’s office.
Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said the individual was shot at about 8 a.m.
Due to state law during an officer-involved shooting, an out-of-area team — the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team (KCIRT), a multi-agency task force of 10 law enforcement agencies in Kitsap, Mason and Clallam counties — will lead the investigation.
King said Sequim Police Department, Port Angeles Police Department, State Patrol and sheriff’s office deputies were involved in the incident response.
The Olympic Discovery Trail between Priest Road and the Dungeness River Nature Center and Priest Lane were closed until about 9:30 a.m.
At about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Sequim Schools superintendent Regan Nickels sent out an email to families they were notified of the active shooter event.
She said families were notified via the district’s Skyward message system and Facebook communication alert.
In a follow-up email to a reporter, Nickels said that, upon notification of the area lockdown, district staff held up buses and reviewed and readjusted routes.
“The school district has been unable to pick up students in the area this morning due to the lockdown status of the immediate area,” Nickels said. “Less than a dozen stops were impacted on three bus routes.”
Matthew Nash is a Sequim Gazette reporter and Michael Dashiell is the Gazette editor. They are with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach Nash at [email protected]. Reach Dashiell at [email protected].