10/07/2003

Wash. State Correction Officer Dies in Accidental Shooting

Officer Down: P. Dean Reem - [Shelton, Washington]

A Mason County, Wash. correction officer died Wednesday after accidentally shooting himself, according to Shelton police.
Paul Dean Reem of Shelton was a 24-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office who had received numerous commendations within and outside of the agency.

"The jail (staff) is hit very hard. They're pretty much devastated by it," Undersheriff Gary Crane said. "He was almost the rock in there, a very even-keel guy."

The 56-year-old, known as "Deano," was a mentor to other officers in the jail.

"Everyone could depend on Deano to have the right answers or explain it or take care of it," Crane said.

Reem was leaving for work Tuesday morning when the accident happened. He was on his front porch shortly after 7, putting his gun into his belt when it went off.

A bullet went through his lower abdomen and the femoral artery in his leg, police said.

Reem's daughter, who was inside the house, called for a neighbor to get help.

Reem lost a lot of blood and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was pronounced brain dead at about 11:30 p.m Wednesday.

Reem was born in Galesburg, Ill., and attended high school in Alexis, Ill. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and later in the Army Reserves.

As a member of the Sheriff's Office, he became well-known in the correction officer community.

"He had connections everywhere," Crane said.

Reem was a member of the Washington Warrant and Transport Officer's Association and Mason County Search and Rescue.

"The Sheriff's Office and the community have sustained a shock and a great loss by his sudden passing," Crane stated.

Arrangements for services are pending.




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