Thursday, October 6, 2022
Oct. 6, 2022

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Vancouver man accused in fatal pellet-gun shooting

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A Vancouver man is accused of fatally shooting a man in the torso with a pellet gun in July during an argument in east Vancouver.

Mickey Alan Day, 44, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree manslaughter. Judge David Gregerson set bail at $750,000, and Day is scheduled to be arraigned March 25.

On July 12, Vancouver police officers found a man, identified as 36-year-old Joshua Beatty, dead in the driver’s seat of a van in a parking lot in the 100 block of Southeast 124th Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit. Police also found a revolver on a seat and a circular hole in the passenger-side window.

Officers found an injury to Beatty’s midsection that initially resembled a burn, court records state. They determined the revolver had not been fired. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office later determined Beatty was shot with a pellet, which traveled into his chest cavity. The medical examiner’s office said the wound was fatal, but it could’ve taken a few minutes for Beatty to die.

Police found Facebook messages on Beatty’s cellphone between him and a woman’s account. The messages indicated that Beatty was talking with a 14-year-old girl, and they made plans to meet up at 11:30 a.m. July 11 near where Beatty was later found, the affidavit states.

The woman whose Facebook account Beatty was messaging told police she didn’t know about the messages and that he may have been talking with her teenage niece. Beatty arrived at the woman’s home July 11, and she told him that her niece wasn’t there and that he was too old to be meeting with her, according to court records.

During the confrontation, a man at the house broke Beatty’s van’s passenger-side window. The woman said Beatty then got out of his van with a gun. She told police her husband, Day, approached with a knife, and Beatty drove away, the affidavit says.

The woman told police there were several pellet and BB guns in the couple’s motor home, and she gave police permission to search it. The pellets officers found inside matched the one Beatty was shot with, the affidavit states.

Day told police his wife told him that Beatty was coming over to meet their niece, contradicting his wife’s statement to law enforcement. He was in the motor home, he said, when he saw Beatty arguing with his wife and waving a gun. He said he went outside with a knife, and Beatty drove away, according to court records.

However, the sound of an apparent gunshot was captured on surveillance video from nearby houses, though Day is not seen. The gunshot was prior to Beatty exiting his van. Day’s wife and the other man at the house were also captured on surveillance video unarmed, the affidavit says.

The Washington State Crime Lab found Day’s and his wife’s fingerprints on the pellet gun, the affidavit states.

Day was arrested on a warrant and, in a later interview, allegedly told police he’d fired the pellet gun to scare Beatty away after Beatty grabbed a gun, according to the affidavit.

On Monday, the judge questioned whether the confrontation was a setup, but the prosecution said it was too early to say.

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