A Salem, Ore., man wanted in connection with an underage sex sting in Clark County reportedly died by suicide Wednesday during a confrontation with police and bail bonds agents in California.
David Regan, owner of Regan Bail Bonds in Vancouver, identified the fugitive as 66-year-old Douglas S. Peetz.
A bench warrant was issued for Peetz in February 2019 in Clark County Superior Court after he failed to appear for trial readiness, court records show.
Peetz was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree child rape, one count of attempted second-degree child rape, two counts of attempted first-degree child molestation and one count of attempted second-degree child molestation.
He was one of about a dozen people arrested in February 2017 for allegedly trying to contact and meet minors for sex during a nearly weeklong law enforcement sting.
Agencies of the Washington State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force posed as minors online for the operation; the ages of the fictitious children ranged from 6 to 14, according to the Vancouver Police Department.
The East Bay Times, in Walnut Creek, Calif., reported that the confrontation between Newark police detectives and Peetz ended with Peetz shooting himself in the head and an officer firing a single round from his rifle.
Peetz died at the scene. It was not immediately clear if he was also struck by the officer’s shot.
Police said Peetz had pulled out a handgun, ignored officers commands to drop it and fired a single shot, which “caused a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head,” The East Bay Times reported, citing a police news release.
Regan said some of his bail bonds agents had been in Newark over the last few days, working with law enforcement, to take Peetz into custody. They had hoped to head down there a few months ago, he said, but were delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Regan called Wednesday’s shooting “unfortunate” and “sad.”
He has notified the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of Peetz’s death, he said.