Police say the man fired four shotgun blasts into a police vehicle, prompting an officer to return fire early Saturday morning. The man is recovering in a Seattle hospital.
A 66-year-old man arrested at the end of an hourslong standoff with Seattle police last weekend was charged Tuesday with first-degree assault for allegedly firing four shotgun blasts into the windshield of a vehicle with three officers inside.
One officer returned fire, striking Richard May Jr. in the lower backside, charging papers say. He has since been booked into the King County Jail in absentia while he recovers at Harborview Medical Center, with his bail set at $500,000, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
The incident in the 11200 block of Fremont Avenue North began around 9:30 p.m. Friday when May allegedly shouted through a fence at a neighbor, who was outside with his children, to “Shut those (expletive) kids up!” The father yelled at May not to speak of his children in that manner, then began walking toward May’s home as an unknown person yelled at May to go back inside his house, according to charging papers.
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As the father approached May’s house, he heard a gunshot and looked down the driveway to see May standing unsteadily, with a rifle or shotgun at his side, the charges say. The man went back to his house and called 911.
Patrol officers responded and called in the police department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, along with hostage negotiators. After failed attempts to coax May out of his house, SWAT officers used an armored Bearcat tactical vehicle to evacuate neighbors in case May started firing out of his house, say the charges.
The Bearcat was then moved just feet from May’s front door and SWAT officers threw nonlethal explosive devices known as “flash bangs” into the home, charging papers say. Police say May then emerged from his front door, fired a 12-gauge shotgun at the Bearcat, striking the windshield at least four times.
He was shot by a SWAT officer before retreating back into his house around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the charges say.
May rebuffed offers of medical aid and refused to come out until finally surrendering about an hour later, the charges say. He was taken to Harborview and is expected to make a full recovery.
Police say May told detectives that he fired at the Bearcat because he was angry the explosive flash bangs had blown out his windows and he knew officers would shoot back, charging papers say.
Police say May claimed he fired a pellet gun in the air during his earlier dispute with his neighbor, but a prosecutor wrote in charging documents that May had fired a rifle shot.
On Tuesday, Seattle police released photos of the shotgun May allegedly used to fire at officers as well as a revolver that was taken from May at the time of his arrest.