Suspect in Sequim shootings didn't know victims
The man who authorities say shot and killed a U.S. Forest Service officer and a Sequim-area man on Saturday had been wanted by the state...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The man who authorities say shot and killed a U.S. Forest Service officer and a Sequim-area man on Saturday had been wanted by the state for missing a meeting with his probation officer.
Shawn Roe, a 36-year-old who once ran a tree-trimming company, was killed Saturday night during a shootout with Clallam County sheriff's deputies, said State Patrol spokeswoman Krista Hedstrom. Roe had three handguns on him when he was killed and other firearms inside a truck he allegedly had stolen from a man found shot to death hours before, Hedstrom said.
Kristine Fairbanks, a 51-year-old U.S. Forest Service officer, died on a remote road near Sequim, Hedstrom said.
Richard Ziegler, 59, a retired California corrections employee who moved to area in May, was found dead in a fifth-wheel trailer where he was living while building a house nearby, the Associated Press reported.
Fairbanks was a nearly 20-year-veteran of the Forest Service and a K-9 handler. Her husband, Brian Fairbanks, is an officer with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the couple has a teenage daughter.
"This whole community here, we all knew her. We're sorry this tragedy had to unfold," Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said at a news conference this afternoon. "It's devastating."
Roe, who has previous convictions for domestic-violence-related crimes, was sought by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) for failing to show up at an Aug. 29 meeting with his probation officer in Mason County. The officer had requested an arrest warrant but Mason County Superior Court had not yet issued it, said DOC spokesman Chad Lewis.
Fairbanks was killed after she had apparently stopped Roe for driving a van without license plates, Hedstrom said. Fairbanks contacted dispatchers for information about Roe, but operators got no response when they returned her call 10 minutes later, Hedstrom said.
Authorities believe that Roe had traveled to the area from his home in Everett about 10 days ago and was staying at the Dungeness Forks Campground inside the Olympic National Forest. It's unclear why he was staying there or what prompted him to shoot Fairbanks, Benedict said.
"There's no indication he knew any of the victims," Benedict said.
Troopers and Clallam County sheriff's deputies dispatched to Fairbanks' location found her body around 3:10 p.m. There was no sign of Roe or the van, Hedstrom said.
Authorities believe that after shooting Fairbanks, Roe abandoned the van in a densely wooded area. He then reportedly walked to a nearby home and fatally shot Ziegler. Hedstrom said that Roe then stole the man's white pickup truck.
Around 5:45 p.m., a tipster called police to report the location of the abandoned van, Benedict said.
Three hours later authorities were led to Roe by a security guard at the Longhouse Market and Deli on Highway 101 near Sequim. The security guard said that a man meeting the suspect's description had pulled up to a gas pump and walked into the store, authorities said.
Within three minutes, two deputies arrived and confronted Roe outside the deli, Benedict said. The deputies told him to raise his hands, but he refused. Roe allegedly took a gun out and fired at least one shot at the deputies, who returned fire, Benedict said. One deputy shot at Roe with an assault rifle.
Roe died at the scene; neither deputy was injured.
Hedstrom said the officers are investigating where Roe got the cache of firearms he had with him.
Authorities checked the registration of the pickup that Roe was seen driving and went to the house of the registered owner. They found the slain man's body.
Because Fairbanks is a federal officer, killed on federal land, the FBI has been called in to handle the investigation into her death. Several agents were flown by helicopter from Seattle to the rural crime scenes late Saturday, said Seattle FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs.
The Clallam County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting death of Ziegler. The State Patrol is investigating Roe's death because deputies were involved in that slaying.
Roe's family declined to comment.
Roe's former neighbors in Shelton said he met his now ex-wife, Mary Catherine Roe, on a ski trip. The two married in 1998 and have a young daughter.
Mary Catherine Roe filed for divorce in July 2006. Two months later, she carried a gun to her teaching position at Nisqually Middle School in Lacey, saying she needed it as protection from her husband, according to The Olympian newspaper. She had a domestic-violence protection order against him and told deputies that she had carried the gun for about a month, the newspaper reported. Mary Catherine Roe eventually resigned from her position as a language arts teacher.
In 2007, Shawn Roe was convicted of unlawful imprisonment, a felony, and malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor, in Mason County.
He was arrested July 21, also in Mason County, for failing to report to his probation officer and for consuming alcohol. Roe was sent to jail for 60 days, 30 of which were spent outside of lockup on electronic home monitoring, according to the DOC. Roe finished this jail sentence on Aug. 10 and reported the next day to his community corrections officer.
Mason County Jail officials weren't available to comment today on why Roe was released from lockup before spending 30 days in custody this summer.
Seattle Times staff reporter Emily Heffter reported from Sequim. News Researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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