$1 million bail set in officer shooting
OLYMPIA – WASHINGTON – A man accused of shooting an Olympia police officer in the arm Monday morning was ordered held Tuesday with bail set at $1 million.
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor found probable cause to order Christopher E. Self, 38, held on suspicion of one count of attempted first-degree murder.
The injured police officer, who is a member of the Thurston County SWAT team, was not seriously hurt by the bullet wound, which went through his bicep and did not strike a bone, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. He was recovering at home after being treated at an area hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Olympian was withholding the officer’s name Tuesday at the request of Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts, who expressed concern about the officer’s safety and the safety of his family members. About 15 Olympia police officers attended Tuesday’s court hearing in support of the officer who was shot.
In arguing for $1 million bail, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Jackson said that the SWAT team performed a “knock and announce” service of the warrant at Self’s residence. Self was looking out through his window at the officer that was injured and at another SWAT team member as he fired a single shot from inside the bedroom.
Jackson asked Tabor to find probable cause for two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder based on the proximity of the second SWAT team member when the shot was fired. The judge allowed only one count.
SWAT team members took position at the front door and yelled “police search warrant” before attempting to force open the door of Self’s home “even as they continued announcing their presence,” court papers state. Self immediately surrendered to police after SWAT team members entered the residence, court papers state.
“One of the SWAT team members observed a shell casing on the bed, and Self spontaneously admitted he had fired one round,” court papers state. A deputy asked Self “if he was firing at them, and he admitted that he was.”
The bullet that struck the officer was found lodged in his Kevlar vest, Jackson said.
Information in court records released Tuesday indicates that the officer was shot while deploying a “flash” grenade through Self’s bedroom window as the SWAT team served the warrant at his front door. He was not immediately aware he had been shot. A “flash” grenade is used by law enforcement while serving high-risk search warrants. It makes a loud noise and flashes a pulse of light intended to stun targeted individuals, but it does not cause injury.
Jackson said the incident began when a SWAT team was serving a narcotics warrant at a home on 70th Avenue off Johnson Point Road shortly after 6 a.m. Monday, based on an investigation by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.
During the task force’s investigation, undercover officers had participated in at least seven controlled buys from Self, purchasing marijuana, ecstasy and a psychedelic drug called 2C-B, Jackson said. Detectives seized a marijuana grow, ecstasy, a number of firearms and “thousands of rounds of ammunition” from Self’s residence after the shooting Monday morning, Jackson said.
During a pre-trial services interview, Self said he has a medicinal marijuana authorization card, court papers state.
Self works at Health Crafts Hydroponics Gardening Center in the 2700 block of Pacific Avenue, according to his pre-trial services report.
Self's girlfriend, who was at the residence during the incident Monday morning, was in court for Tuesday’s hearing, but she declined to answer questions outside court afterward. She was detained after the officer’s shooting but was not arrested.
According to Self's court appointed attorney, Alex Frix, Self has no prior felony criminal history. He added that Self has lived in the area since 1995 and served in the Army at Fort Lewis.
June 8th 2011
(original article link)
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