Two Pierce County Sheriff's Deputies are in critical condition after trading gunfire with a man inside a rural south sound home Monday night.
At around 9pm, the two officers arrived at a residence near Eatonville to investigate reports of a domestic disturbance.
The two were then invited inside by one of the residents where, according to Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Ed Troyer, suspect David Crable "basically ambushed the deputies."The two officers entered and were fired upon by Crable, who had gone upstairs to retrieve a rifle and handgun. At least one of the two deputies returned fire, killing the 35-year-old.
Both deputies were seriously injured in the exchange. The veteran officer was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center. [UPDATE: His condition has now been upgraded to "serious," and is expected to survive.]
The second deputy was hit multiple times, and was later airlifted to the trauma center at Harborview Hospital in Seattle where he remains in critical condition.
Even before last night their assailant was well known to local law enforcement. Police had previously made several trips to the Crable home in response to David Crable's various run-ins with his family members, reports the Tribune.
The is the latest in a string of attacks on area law enforcement. Earlier this month, four Lakewood officers were shot and killed at a Parkland coffee shop. Factoring in last night's incident, the total number of area police officers killed or wounded by gunfire in the last two months now stands at eight.
UPDATE: KOMO News says that records show Crable was convicted of two crimes just this past June.
Crable was accused of threatening his 16-year-old daughter with a kitchen knife, shoving her up against a wall and slapping her across the head. When his brother tried to interfere, Crable grabbed him by the throat and pushed him out of the house.
By means of a plea deal, Crable was able to get probation for all but one day of his year-long sentence. He was also ordered to have no "hostile contact" with his brother or daughter.
Spokesman Troyer says that Crable has "a long history of terrorizing his family."
UPDATE: KIRO says that both deputies are married with kids.
Kent Mundell, the more seriously injured of the two, is a 10-year veteran. He has two children, ages 16 and 10.
Nick Hausner, in serious condition and expected to survive, is a 20-year veteran. He has two children as well, ages 14 and 12.
UPDATE: King 5 talked with some of Crable's neighbors and found out that (surprise) that he was the kind of dude you want nowhere near your family.
One note. I hope it's not in bad taste to say this, given that there are still two cops in the hospital and, no matter how much havoc he wreaked, Crable did leave behind a daughter who's no doubt going to be traumatized by this incident her whole life. But I have to take issue with something one of Crable's neighbors said on that video.
Bobby Brown, the guy with the diamond stud. He tells King 5's reporter that Crable once armed him with a loaded pistol when he asked him to house sit. Then he says, "It doesn't matter who ya know, who ya meet, anybody can do anything anymore, it's amazing."
I'm not trying to beat up on a guy who just found out his dead neighbor is an attempted cop-killer. But that statement? That vaguely says that anyone is capable of anything, at anytime? It's wrong. Really, really wrong.
If greater Seattle has learned anything from Christopher Monfort, Maurice Clemmons or, now, Crable, it's that these "random" acts of violence against the cops are precipitated by a whole lot of other small, or large, events that, in hindsight, turn the tragedies they're responsible for from "totally out of the blue" to "depressingly preventable."
Clemmons told family gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table that he was going to kill some cops. A couple days later, he did just that.
Monfort firebombed three police cruisers, then left a note saying he'd be targeting law enforcement. A promise he unfortunately delivered on two weeks later.
Thus far it's not clear if Crable specifically targeted police. But he did seem to have it out for his daughter and brother. The same people who called 911 last night frantic because a large drunk man who'd previously been violent towards them was back in their house.
The point? This neighbor of Crable's, who I sympathize with, went a little too far. Does random violence exist? Sure it does. But let's no go overboard and say we're totally surprised. Or that this just confirms that anyone is capable of anything at anytime.
The guy gave his house sitter a loaded gun. Even those who swaddle themselves in the 2nd Amendment will tell you, that's just not right.