Crime

Retired trooper charged with shooting from vehicle near South Prairie

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a retired Washington State Patrol trooper with firing a pistol from a moving vehicle during an argument with his son.

Michael Cassaday, 59, was arraigned Monday in Superior Court. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf to one count of drive-by shooting, and Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $20,000.

Court records did not list an attorney for Cassaday. They gave this account of the incident, which happened Friday:

When Cassaday and his son left a Bonney Lake movie theater the son drove because he thought his father was too drunk to get behind the wheel.

They argued on the way home, and Cassaday took the pistol from the glove compartment, and fired the weapon out the window. His son pulled over in the 24600 block of South Prairie Road East, and flagged down a passing Tacoma police officer.

“The defendant said he fired the rounds to show his son that he was serious, he had had enough and that he was done with the discussion,” deputy prosecutor Patrick Cooper wrote in a declaration for determination of probable cause.

A sheriff’s deputy noted the shots appeared to be fired toward the town of South Prairie, and several homes were in the area.

Investigators wrote that Cassaday, who now works security at a local casino, told them he has a drinking problem related to his law enforcement career and family trouble.

“... He said because he was intoxicated, and the heat of the moment, he made a monumental lapse in judgment,” Cooper wrote.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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