Michael McBee stewed for a week, the memory of a fistfight with his Fife Heights neighbor apparently still a sore point.
About 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, court records show, McBee’s temper boiled over, and he allegedly grabbed a 9mm pistol and went next door to settle the score.
Pierce County prosecutors allege he opened fire on his neighbor as the man stood in his garage with his wife and another man, pursued his target — firing more shots as the man ran — and then shot at the wife when she ran inside her house.
Incredibly, no one was hit.
Prosecutors charged McBee on Wednesday with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and one count each of first-degree burglary, malicious mischief and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf in Superior Court. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered McBee, 65, jailed in lieu of $5 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen.
“The defendant terrorized a neighborhood,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “We will prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. We’re lucky, and grateful, nobody was killed.”
McBee was arrested Tuesday night after barricading himself in his home for nearly five hours. He finally gave up when authorities promised to look after his dogs.
Neighbors told investigators McBee had been “involved in numerous neighborhood disputes,” court records show.
A week earlier, McBee and a neighbor got into a fight after an argument, court records show. The neighbor apparently got the better of McBee, punching him, the records show. Deputies were called, but no arrests were made.
That neighbor was standing in his garage with his wife and another man Tuesday when McBee stalked up the driveway carrying a handgun. He allegedly said “kill you” or “you’re dead” before opening fire, the records show.
The neighbor and his wife fled, leaving the other man behind to face McBee. McBee allegedly pointed the gun at the other man but did not fire after the man said, “Please don’t,” court records show.
The neighbor’s wife told investigators she ran inside her house for safety, but McBee saw her through the sliding-glass door and fired a shot at her. He then entered the house and demanded to know where her husband was, records show.
McBee left the house and went back to the garage where he fired more rounds. Deputies later found the windshield of the neighbors’ car riddled with bullets, records show.
He then retreated to his own house, prompting a standoff that ended about 9 p.m.
McBee declined to make a statement to investigators.