The new year in Thurston County got off to a tragic start early Thursday when a man was shot and killed east of Lacey after a dispute between brothers spilled into the streets, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
Following an investigation, which took most of Thursday, authorities determined that no arrests would be made.
“Detectives responded to the scene and after a thorough investigation, it was determined that the shooter acted in self-defense when he fired his weapon,” according to a news release.
Here’s how the shooting unfolded, according to Lt. Cliff Ziesemer and the news release:
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 7400 block of Fair Oaks Loop Southeast, east of Centennial Station, at about 7:15 a.m. They found four men, including one who had been shot in the chest. He died at the scene.
The victim, 37, and his brother, 35, reportedly got into an argument that spilled into the front yard of their residence.
A woman across the street called 911 to report the disturbance. Then her boyfriend, 22, who was armed, tried to intervene before law enforcement arrived.
The two brothers turned on the 22-year-old and chased him down the street. The three men began fighting. A friend of the 22-year-old, also 22 years old, then emerged from the residence to help. He, too, was armed.
The older brother allegedly tried to disarm the newest arrival to the altercation. In the ensuing struggle, one shot was fired into the older brother’s chest.
The man died at the scene, Ziesemer said.
A woman who called The Olympian said she was the victim’s aunt.
“We loved him so much,” the woman said.
Both of the 22-year-old men are active-duty soldiers at Joint Base Lewis- McChord, Ziesemer said.
The two brothers allegedly were highly intoxicated at the time of the disturbance, while the shooter was sober at the time of the incident, though he’d been drinking the night before, according to the news release. The other 22-year-old had not been drinking, according to the news release.
The younger brother was treated for a broken nose at Providence St. Peter Hospital and later released. The 22-year-old shooter was not injured, while his friend suffered a hand injury, according to the news release.