Crime

Squawking chickens led to ambush by airsoft-wielding avian assailant, deputies say

An Eatonville-area man heard the chickens outside his trailer making distressed sounds Wednesday afternoon, so he went outside to see what was happening.

He found his landlady’s adult son in the pasture, shooting at the chickens with an airsoft rifle. The man told the son to stop, but instead, the son turned the airsoft gun at him, shooting him in the top of the head about a dozen times, Pierce County sheriff’s deputies say.

The son, 36, was charged Thursday in Pierce County District Court with fourth-degree assault and discharging a firearm, and his bail was set at $5,000.

According to sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer:

Deputies were dispatched about 12:30 p.m. to the property in the 34400 block of 41st Avenue East after the man called 911 to say he’d been shot at with an airsoft gun by his landlady’s adult son.

The deputies arrived to find the victim with dried blood on his face that seemed to come from the top of his head, but the man said he didn’t need medical attention.

He told the deputies he heard the chickens squawking and went outside to see what was the matter. He came out and saw the 36-year-old armed with the airsoft rifle, shooting at them.

The victim tried to get the avian assailant to stop, but the 36-year-old instead started shooting at the victim. The victim ducked to keep from getting shot in the face, so the assailant shot him between 10 and 15 times in the top of his head.

By the time the deputies arrived, the chickens likely ate the airsoft pellets, the victim told the deputies, and none of the birds appeared to be seriously injured.

The assailant called 911 on Wednesday evening to tell deputies his side of the story, and they met him at the property. He said he’d gone out to feed bread to the chickens, but his dog was eating the bread, so he fired a pellet at it to scare it off.

He said he then fired a couple of pellets at the victim’s trailer, which prompted the man to run outside, telling him to stop. The man then rushed toward him, the assailant said, which prompted him to shoot the man in the head with pellets twice.

He was arrested.

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