Neighbors next to a chaotic shooting scene were being allowed back in their homes Monday morning after a tense armed standoff and search for a gunman who shot a passerby and fired upon police and SWAT officers in a rural area outside of Arlington Sunday.
Police say officers later found the gunman shot to death. A weapon was found on the gunman's body and investigators haven't said yet if he died from police fire. Detectives are still investigating whether there was a second shooter.
"Due to the number of shots that were being fired at the time, there was concern that there could be a second suspect," said Shari Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
The drama began at about 1:30 p.m. when a 26-year-old man who lives in the area thought he heard gunshots or fireworks. He hustled his kids inside the house then went to investigate with his father.
The father and son heard another bullet whistle through the branches of a nearby tree, then the son realized he had been shot in the calf.
"And then my son reached down, kind of slapped his leg, didn't even realize the bullet went through the calf of his leg," said the victim's father, who didn't want to be identified. "And then he hollers, 'I got shot!' "
They ran home and called 911.
Deputies responded to the scene, and then they also came under fire. One patrol car was reportedly hit, but no officers were injured.
A SWAT team soon arrived at the scene, about a mile off Highway 530 near Jim Creek Road, and SWAT team officers reported multiple gunshot hits on their armored vehicle.
Police units reportedly then came under fire from different types of weapons, including a high-powered rifle, leading them to believe that there could be more than one shooter.
As the gun battle stretched through most of the afternoon, more armored vehicles were requested from other jurisdictions as far away as Seattle and Whatcom County as a police helicopter circled the scene.
Police evacuated some residents who lived near the standoff and told others to stay in their homes. The standoff left about 100 campers at a private campground trapped inside police lines.
"I've got my daughter, sister and all her little ones (stuck at the campground)," said Chris Berg. "I'm nervous as hell right now."
Other drivers had to dodge the gunfire too. Tabitha Spoiala says a bullet went through the boat they were trailing.
"It went right in through there, on that side of the boat, and then it went through the cooler," she said.
At the height of the standoff, scanner reports from the scene sounded like a war zone, with multiple police and sheriff units coordinating and positioning themselves strategically. Eventually police were able to pinpoint the location of a suspected shooter, and later found his body.
It's unclear what motivated the gunman to shoot random people and cars. Some neighbors say they've heard gunfire before, but no one had ever been targeted.
"We were pretty lucky," the victim's father said. "We were like sitting ducks out there just walking around."
The 26-year-old man who was shot in the calf at the beginning of the incident was taken to Cascade Hospital in Arlington, where he was treated and released.