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News / Northwest

Man in body armor threatens Thurston deputy with AR-15 rifle, Sheriff’s Office says

By Rolf Boone, The Olympian
Published: February 5, 2024, 7:29am

OLYMPIA — A 34-year-old man was arrested Friday night after he pointed an AR-15 rifle at a deputy, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office posted on social media.

Around 8 p.m., deputies and Sheriff Derek Sanders were looking for a vehicle associated with a “domestic disturbance” in the Rainier area.

The man driving that vehicle was thought to be intoxicated, armed and suicidal, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A deputy was eventually dispatched to the 15000 block of Vail Cut Off Road Southeast where the man was thought to be.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, as the deputy talked with family members, the man suddenly emerged from behind a structure wearing body armor and holding a loaded AR-15. He also had a holstered handgun and additional gun magazines on a duty belt.

“The subject aimed his AR-15 at the deputy at close distance with a family member in between them,” the social media post reads.

The deputy reacted to the threat, according to the post, but so did the family member who pushed the rifle away. That was followed by a fight that ended with the man being taken into custody, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The 34-year-old was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. A loaded AK-47 rifle also was found in the man’s vehicle.

“We are extremely grateful for the safety of our deputy, the family, and the quick intervention and assistance from the family member who certainly saved numerous lives tonight,” the Sheriff’s Office post reads.