The man suspected of shooting an Omak policeman to death Wednesday night was to be arrested today in his Seattle hospital bed on a probation violation charge.
That will ensure Juan D. Gonzalez, 41, remains in custody while Okanogan County Prosecutor Rick Weber considers a homicide charge.
Weber was not available for comment Friday, but Deputy Prosecutor Dale Lehrman said the prosecutor’s office is waiting for a report from the Sheriff’s Department before deciding how to charge Gonzalez. Under state law, Weber could seek the death penalty.
Gonzalez is suspected of fatally shooting Officer Mike Marshall, 43, in the head after creating a disturbance at the Stampede Motel.
Motel owner Claudia Burwell said she called police when Gonzalez became belligerent after being told a woman staying at the motel didn’t wish to see him.
Burwell said Gonzalez pulled two guns from his pocket, one in each hand, and shot Marshall before being shot himself. A second officer, Don Eddy Jr., 36, returned fire and hit Gonzalez in the chest.
Although critically wounded, police said Gonzalez managed to shoot Eddy in the left thigh while the officer was handcuffing him. Eddy disarmed the suspect, handcuffed him and was giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Marshall when other officers arrived.
Marshall and Gonzalez both were flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Marshall died a few hours later, but Gonzalez was in satisfactory condition and improving Friday. Sheriff Jim Weed said Gonzalez was hit by a single 9mm bullet that passed through the right side of his chest and out his shoulder.
Gonzalez is an illegal alien who was deported to Mexico after his fourth criminal conviction in the United States. He returned and failed to report to a probation officer as required, authorities said.
Court documents show Gonzalez was arrested last March on charges of possessing a controlled substance, third-degree driving with a suspended license, negligent driving and refusing to cooperate with police. He pleaded guilty on April 17 to a single count of possessing amphetamines.
Gonzalez was on a year’s probation when he was released from jail in October and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for deportation.
He was previously convicted of third-degree child rape in November 1994. In that case, Gonzalez and a girlfriend, Lois Perez, were convicted of using the woman’s 15-year-old daughter and another 15-year-old girl as prostitutes.
While Perez injected the girls with cocaine, authorities said, Gonzalez pimped for them and had sex with them himself.
Court records show he has previous convictions in Fresno, Calif., for possessing cocaine in 1991 and for three counts of possessing stolen property in 1986. The 1986 conviction was under an alias of Jose Martin Gonzalez.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: FUNERAL Monday’s 11 a.m. funeral service at the Omak High School auditorium is open to the public.