09/22/2008

Wash. man kills forest police officer

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — A man who died in a shootout with authorities after gunning down two people in Washington state, including a U.S. Forest Service officer, was wanted for failing to show up at an August meeting with his probation officer.

The probation officer had requested an arrest warrant for Shawn M. Roe, 36, but Mason County Superior Court had not yet issued one, Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis told The Seattle Times.

The FBI and local authorities are investigating the shooting Saturday afternoon of Officer Kristine Fairbanks, 51, and Richard Ziegler, 59, a retired California corrections employee who moved to area in May. His body was found in a fifth-wheel trailer where he was living while building a house.

The shootings allegedly occurred after Roe was pulled over while driving a stolen pickup in the Olympic Peninsula about 50 miles west of Seattle.

"All of these crimes were within walking distance," said state Trooper Krista D. Hedstrom.

Investigators searched a nearby campground for evidence and the possibility of other crime scenes. "We don't want to say that there's nothing else out there, but so far we haven't come across any additional scenes," Hedstrom said. "There's no indication of any at this time."

Investigators are awaiting a warrant to search a van they believe Roe was driving, Hedstrom said.

"Until we get into that van, we don't know what he was doing out there in the woods," she said. "We just have a lot of questions."

Roe was convicted in 2007 of unlawful imprisonment, a felony, and malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor, Lewis said.

His ex-wife, Mary Catherine Roe, carried a gun to her teaching job at a middle school in Lacey in September 2006. She told deputies she was afraid of her ex-husband, who had threatened her with a gun. She had a domestic-violence protection order against him, The Olympian newspaper reported.

Shawn Roe was arrested July 21 in Mason County for failing to report to his probation officer and for consuming alcohol. He was sent to jail for two months, one of which was spent under electronic home monitoring, according to the Department of Corrections.

Roe finished the jail sentence Aug. 10 and reported to his community corrections officer the next day. A corrections official said he wasn't sure why Roe was released early from the Mason County jail.

Roe was carrying three handguns when he was shot and killed, including Fairbanks' service weapon, Hedstrom said. A fourth weapon, a rifle, was found in the pickup.

Fairbanks, who leaves a husband and 15-year-old daughter, investigated mainly timber theft and illegal harvesting of salal, ferns, mushrooms, moss, cedar bark and grass in the nearly 1,000-square-mile Olympic National Forest.

The shooting comes not long after a 28-year-old Washington man was charged with killing six people and injuring four in a shooting rampage that started about 70 miles north of Seattle. According to court documents, Isaac Zamora told police that God had instructed him to "kill evil."

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