Raymond G. LaMadeleine was being pursued by creditors in Pierce and Thurston counties and thought people had been trying to steal timber from the Roy-area property he’d been renting.
Neighbors and Pierce County sheriff’s deputies say the 50-year-old man also was firing guns on his property, was making threats to hurt others and had mental health problems.
A sharpshooter shot and killed LaMadeleine on Tuesday after he allegedly fired at a sheriff’s SWAT team and a department plane. The aircraft was not damaged, and no deputies were injured.
News of LaMadeleine’s death relieved his neighbors.
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“I’ve been scared ever since they moved in there,” JoAnn Murphy told KIRO-TV. “I was afraid if I called (911) and he found out I was calling, that I would start getting the shots coming down toward my dogs and my horses.”
The Sheriff’s Department continued to investigate LaMadeleine’s death Wednesday. Investigators were looking into his history and his access to weapons. They found a Russian-style assault rifle and other weapons on the property.
Deputies had taken away guns from LaMadeleine in the past and had him involuntarily committed in November, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
LaMadeleine appeared to have no criminal history. He did have a litany of problems with creditors, including the couple who own the Roy property where he had been living since late March. He hadn’t paid rent since July, according to court documents. The owners served LaMadeleine with an eviction notice Jan. 5.
Neighbors also were having problems with him, Troyer said.
Deputies went to the property in June because LaMadeleine thought people were climbing his trees and trying to steal them. He also thought his neighbors had exposed him to toxic chemicals, Troyer said.
Deputies returned in September after LaMadeleine fired a gun on his property. They had to persuade LaMadeleine, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, to drop his gun, Troyer said. Deputies took seven guns from LaMadeleine for safekeeping.
In November, deputies had LaMadeleine involuntarily committed and he was ordered to have a mental health evaluation after he threatening to kill a neighbor.
On Tuesday, LaMadeleine reportedly shot at his neighbors, prompting deputies to get a warrant for his arrest.
The SWAT team went to LaMadeleine’s 20-acre property to take him into custody.
“He had specifically timed threats toward others,” Troyer said. “We had to act or who knows (what would have happened).”
After LaMadeleine fired at deputies and the plane, a SWAT sniper shot LaMadeleine, who died at the scene.
The deputy was put on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The deputy’s name has not been released.