MyNorthwest is reporting that Marysville Police may have prevented a Vegas-style shooting by applying an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO).
The “Intent” of ERPO as defined by the RCWs is defined as: “designed to temporarily prevent individuals who are at high risk of harming themselves
or others from accessing firearms by allowing family, household members and police to obtain a court order when there is demonstrated evidence
that the person poses a significant danger, as a result of a dangerous mental health crisis or violent behavior.”
In simple terms, someone close to you or the police have the power to remove your firearms, but only under conditions.
In this case, the conditions were reportedly met when a man from Marysville had the police called to his house recently. He had donned a gas mask and
was carrying an AR-15.
Marysville Police Commander Mark Thomas: “When we arrived on scene we got more information that he thought he was being watched and followed and possibly poisoned by government sources and other individuals and sent her out of the house.”
“We were on scene for over an hour trying to contact him. We did see him through the window, we knew that he had a […] rifle that he was carrying
with him and a gas mask that he was carrying with him.”
Because the man’s wife left the home at his urging, and also to keep the situation as calm as possible, they left the area to “avoid pushing a confrontation.”
Technically, he had committed no crime. He had a license to carry, and the firearm was a legal purchase, which was detailed by MNW as an AR-15 later
The very next day, another call came in from his family, detailing that he had rented two rooms at the Tulalip Casino Resort. Additionally, he was
still exhibiting paranoid fixations, and Commander Thomas made the connection between his actions and the potentiality of another Vegas-style mass
After confirming he was not at the Casino, he was then tracked by a family member by his cell phone, leading them to Seattle. He was armed, but his
gun was confiscated, and he was involuntarily committed for seventy-two hours for a mental health evaluation.
With the permission of his family, their home was searched: eleven other firearms, some hidden strategically, were returned. This figure doesn’t reflect
the total number, including what was on his person and stowed in his vehicle.
In this case, the ex parte order was sought by law enforcement, rather than family or shared household memebers. According to the article, Marysville
Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Millett: “It took us a day to put together all of the information and then talking to the family to get updates and
things like that and then we produced our affidavit. Then when we went to our court, our court was very quick with it. We filed it in the morning.
We had a hearing at eleven o’clock, and by 11:30 we had the ex parte order to go and serve him and get transferred to superior court.”
She goes on to stress that: “I can’t think of a better example than the facts that we had in this case in regards to using this law.”
Content courtesy of MNW.com. Marysville Police have been contacted for new information and new commentary. Image courtesy of Marysville Police Twitter Handle.