Deputy fired multiple shots in fatal confrontation

A man in a confrontation with police on North Whidbey Sunday night died from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, the Island County coroner reported.

Coroner Robert Bishop determined the cause of Nicholas Perkins’ death, but toxicology results are still pending. Death was immediate, he said.

Perkins was a chief petty officer in the Navy. He served 18 years, including the last year at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. He had an ex-wife and a child in Louisiana.

Bishop said Perkins had been “dealing with multiple issues” prior to the shooting.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said he wasn’t releasing the name of the deputy who fired the shots out of consideration for the deputy and his family. He said he feels that the deputies involved in the shooting were also victims.

“I don’t see the absolute need to do that,” he said, referring to the release of the name. “It will all come out anyway.”

Brown said the two deputies who were closely involved in the shooting are on administrative leave and have access to a counselor. He said they will return to work on their own time and may be on temporary, administrative assignment at first.

Skagit Multiple Agency Response Team, or SMART, is investigating the shooting. The team is composed of detectives from several Skagit County police agencies. It released a single press release on the events.

Deputies responded to a 911 call at 8:17 p.m. Sunday about a despondent man, later identified as Perkins, who was armed with gun at the residence. Perkins had texted a friend, “I’m done — Ready to die,” the 911 log states.

The four deputies and a lieutenant, along with Perkins’ friend, arrived at the house. Perkins was armed with a long gun.

After a three-hour standoff, Perkins exited the house with the gun. The friend tried to intervene and a struggle ensued as the friend and deputies tried to subdue Perkins.

Perkins fired multiple shots, striking his friend in the leg. A deputy shot Perkins and he died at the scene, the press release states.

The friend sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The base confirmed that he is also an active duty member of the Navy.

One deputy was treated for a minor hand injury.

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