Forest Service officer's killer was violating probation
A 36-year-old man who allegedly shot two people Saturday before police killed him was wanted by the state Department of Corrections.
Seattle Times staff reporters
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 in 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 the 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 U.S. 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 have 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 Sunday 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 vehicle without license plates, officials said. Fairbanks contacted dispatchers for information about Roe, and operators got no response when they returned her call 10 minutes later, Hedstrom said.
"One of the things that struck me was the remoteness of the area," said Benedict. "That speaks to the bravery of the officer."
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. Roe allegedly had told his probation officer that he would no longer be checking in, Benedict said, and he told his mother in Everett that he was going camping.
It's unclear why he was staying at the campground 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. Her dog, Radar, was in her car. 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 at about 5:30 p.m., Roe stole Ziegler's white pickup. Witnesses told police they saw Roe and a woman in the truck, saying they were looking for a dog. Police don't know who the woman was but don't consider her a suspect.
Around 5:45 p.m., a tipster called police to report the location of the abandoned van, Benedict said.
Three hours later, a security guard at the Longhouse Market and Deli on Highway 101 in Blyn called police when he saw a man he recognized from fliers that police had distributed. The security guard said the man bought a fifth of Canadian whiskey and two Pepsis.
"He seemed to be pretty calm and cordial," said Mike Swisher, shift manager at the store.
Two deputies arrived and confronted Roe as he was leaving 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 with nine shots, Benedict said. One deputy used an assault rifle, authorities said.
Roe died at the scene; neither deputy was injured. The deputies were placed on routine administrative leave and have been identified as Matt Murphy, a 14-year veteran with the department, and Andrew Wagner, a first-year deputy. Police said Murphy fired the fatal shot.
Hedstrom said authorities are investigating where Roe got the cache of firearms he had with him.
State troopers checked the registration of the pickup that Roe had been driving and went to the house of the registered owner. They found Ziegler's body.
Because Fairbanks was a federal officer, killed on federal land, the FBI has been called in to handle the investigation into her death. 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 White, on a ski trip. The two married in 1998 on the front lawn of their house. They have a young daughter.
White filed for divorce in July 2006. Two months later, she carried a gun to her teaching job 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. The school district placed her on administrative leave because it is against state law to take a firearm to a school campus, the Olympian reported. White eventually resigned.
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 violating his probation by failing to report to his probation officer and consuming alcohol. Roe was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 30 of which were spent outside of lockup on electronic home monitoring, according to the DOC. Roe finished this sentence Aug. 10 and reported the next day to his community corrections officer, according to a DOC statement.
Mason County Jail officials weren't available to comment Sunday on why Roe was released early.
Seattle Times staff reporter Emily Heffter reported from Sequim and Shelton. News researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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