Deputy shoots, kills attempted carjacker

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed a homeless man who attempted a carjacking and tried to steal a gun from the Oak Harbor Walmart Sunday evening, according to police.

The Island County Coroner’s Office identified the man as 36-year-old Richard Joseph Jackson. His cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, Coroner Robert Bishop said.

Jackson, who went by the name “Joseph,” had been living in the Oak Harbor area for five years. His only felony history in the county was an eluding case last year in which he was speeding on a motorcycle on North Whidbey.

The sheriff’s office hasn’t released the name of the deputy who fired the shots. He is 33 years old and has been with the department for more than two years.

The Skagit Multiple Agency Response Team, or SMART, is investigating the shooting; it is comprised of detectives from several Skagit County police agencies.

The deputy who fired the shots has not been named. He is on administrative leave, which is standard practice in officer-involved shootings, the sheriff’s office reported.

SMART investigators reported that the Oak Harbor Police Department received a 911 call at about 6:36 p.m. of a man, later identified as Jackson, attempting a carjacking near the Safeway store.

The victim of the carjacking described Jackson as “bloody, disheveled and it looked as if he was reaching for a weapon but no weapon was seen,” according to a press release from police.

The attempted carjacking victim was able to escape without injury.

Jackson then walked into nearby Walmart, stole ammunition and attempted to steal a gun. Store employees reported Jackson had brandished a knife.

Jackson left Walmart and was contacted nearby by Oak Harbor police officers and deputies from the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson failed to comply with the officers’ commands; a deputy fired multiple shots, according to the press release.

The shooting occurred at 6:53 p.m. on the grounds of Oak Harbor Intermediate School, Bishop reported. Jackson was transported to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in Coupeville and pronounced dead about an hour later.

Bishop said Jackson had blunt force trauma injuries in addition to the gunshot wounds, but he can’t tell when they occurred and if they were the source of the blood reported on Jackson prior to the shooting.

Toxicology results probably won’t be available for seven to eight months because of a backlog at the state toxicity lab, the coroner said.

Jackson’s next of kin, who live on the East Coast, were notified Tuesday morning. Jackson moved to Whidbey Island from the East Coast with a relative five years ago, but the relative has since moved back. His family said Jackson was homeless, according to Bishop.

Jackson was charged in Island County Superior Court in March of 2017 with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and reckless driving. The case was resolved this year in district court.

In that case, a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office observed Jackson driving a motorcycle on Highway 20 at about 114 miles per hour March 12, 2017.

The deputy chased the motorcycle onto county roads and arrested Jackson after he stopped the motorcycle on East Sleeper Road, according to the police report. Jackson’s blood-alcohol level was tested at .095; 0.08 is the legal limit.

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