Crime

A dispute about a blocked driveway and a tractor ended in gunfire in Graham, charges say

Washington state crimes by the numbers

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.

A dispute about a vehicle blocking a driveway and the tractor used to clear it ended with shots fired at a property in Graham, according to court records.

The 59-year-old suspected shooter pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday in Pierce County Superior Court to first-degree assault.

According to charging papers:

The owner of the property in the 7900 block of 262nd Street East called 911 Sunday to say the man had pointed a shotgun at him and fired it twice.

The property owner said his brother and the man work as scrappers and that a vehicle had been blocking the driveway that day.

He told the man to move it, and, when that didn’t happen, used a skid steer tractor to push the car in front of the man’s trailer.

The man came out and yelled at the property owner, then fired a couple shotgun shells. Then he pointed the gun at the property owner and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed.

That’s when the property owner drove the tractor home and called 911.

The suspect told investigators that the property owner was driving the tractor recklessly and that he’d told him to shut it off. The property owner ignored him and drove right at the trailer, the suspect said.

That’s when the suspect said he fired a shot in the air, and the man on the tractor drove away.

Deputies found the shotgun in the trailer. The trigger was jammed, and the gun accidentally went off while deputies were trying to secure it.

That was consistent with the property owner’s account of what happened, investigators noted.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.


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