Sequim man shot in standoff identified

SEQUIM — A 49-year-old man who was shot and killed after an hours-long standoff in September has been identified.

Mark Nichols, Clallam County prosecuting attorney and coroner, said Terris Vincent Hetland of Sequim died from a gunshot wound to his chest at his residence on Priest Lane on Sept. 22.

Hetland was shot by a State Patrol Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) officer at about 8:09 a.m. after he fired a weapon at officers during a standoff, according to a previous report from Lt. Aaron Elton with Bremerton Police Department.

Elton is the spokesperson for the incident through the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team (KCIRT), an out-of-area, multi-agency task force of 10 law enforcement agencies that leads an investigation required by state law after an officer-involved shooting.

Clallam County Fire District 3 paramedics provided aid to Hetland, but he died at the scene, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

An incident report is unavailable as the investigation remains ongoing, Elton said in an email.

Under state law for the Law Enforcement Training and Community Safety Act (LETCSA), the officers involved in the shooting are under investigation for their actions as protocol.

If Hetland were alive and facing charges sent to a prosecutor, the incident report would become public record, according to KCIRT team members.

His death followed a call during the early morning of Sept. 22 which reported domestic violence on the 300 block of Priest Lane.

Hetland’s unnamed girlfriend was transported to Olympic Medical Center and later released with non-life-threatening wounds, according to a previous KCIRT report.

The woman said Hetland hit her over the head with an axe and threatened to commit suicide, Elton said.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Office reported that Sequim police officers and sheriff’s deputies arrived and attempted to contact Hetland inside a shop that also served as a residence.

Law enforcement heard a single gunshot from inside, so they maintained a perimeter and called for additional resources, including crisis negotiators and detectives, they reported.

More gunshots were heard from inside the shop, leading on-scene law enforcement to request a State Patrol SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, according to the sheriff’s department.

Negotiations continued with Hetland for several hours with multiple gunshots fired from inside the building and fired in the direction of law enforcement officers, the sheriff’s office reported.

Elton said law enforcement used crisis negotiators, verbal communications, a drone, a robot and other less lethal tactics and tools to attempt to de-escalate the situation.

Hetland came out of the shop and fired a weapon at state patrol SWAT officers, and the SWAT team returned fire, the sheriff’s office said.

The incident was in unincorporated Clallam County. Sequim and Port Angeles police departments, State Patrol and Clallam County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the incident response.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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