A man suspected of firing shots at a Stevens County deputy was arrested Wednesday evening after an all-day search by multiple law enforcement agencies.
Richard Lee Hawley was located and taken into custody in Colville just before 7 p.m. He was arrested on a warrant and also on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder.
Investigators say Hawley fired several shots at the deputy after law enforcement, which had a warrant for his arrest, spotted and pursued him early Wednesday morning.
Colville police officers and Stevens County deputies were outside a home in Colville at about 12:30 a.m. where they were conducting surveillance to arrest Hawley, 47. Hawley has a warrant for possession of heroin, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Officers saw Hawley leave his home and get in a vehicle, the news release said. A deputy took pursuit. Hawley left his vehicle and fled on foot and fired at the deputy who was pursuing him.
Multiple shots struck the deputy’s vehicle, but the deputy was not injured, the Sheriff’s Office said. The deputy returned fire, but it is not clear if Hawley was struck.
The Colville School District closed and law enforcement officials asked Colville residents to stay indoors while the search for Hawley was underway.
Providence Mount Carmel Hospital on Columbia Avenue was on restricted access Wednesday, hospital officials said. Liz DeRuyter, spokeswoman for Providence, said the hospital closed entry to all side doors, except for emergency exits, and all employees and visitors could only come through the front door, where there is more security.
Chelsea Morrison, a manager at Big Al’s Coffee Shop on the corner of Main Street and Birch Avenue, said she heard multiple rumors around town about the shooter’s whereabouts, but they were nothing more than hearsay. She said many small businesses closed out of safety concerns, but they remained open.
“From what I can see, there doesn’t seem to be that much concern I suppose,” she said over the phone Wednesday morning. “I see a lot of people driving and walking around.”
The Rev. Kenny St. Hilaire, of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Maple Street, said he conducts morning Mass at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, where he said most people he talked to had no idea deputies were searching for an armed shooter.
“As I was greeting people after Mass, nobody said anything,” he said. “In fact, as the last lady was leaving, I said, ‘Be careful, watch out,’ and she said ‘What’s going on?’ I guess word is not getting out there effectively or something.”
Hilaire drove around town after Mass and said it looked as though there were street closures along Birch and east to as far as Cedar Street.
Reporter Nina Culver contributed to this report.
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