Forest Service officer's killer was violating probation


September 22, 2008, 10:13 PM
This unfortunate incident was reported today. Two innocent lives were lost as a result of the release of a dangerous felon.

Other points of interest include the fact that his ex-wife lost her teaching job because she insisted on carrying a firearm to school to protect herself from this killer. She knew the protection order she was issued wasn't going to stop him - only bullets would. She was right.

Forest Service officer's killer was violating probation
By Jennifer Sullivan and Emily Heffter

Seattle Times staff reporters

The man who authorities say shot and killed a U.S. Forest Service officer and a Sequim-area man on Saturday had been wanted by the state for missing a meeting with his probation officer.

Shawn Roe, a 36-year-old who once ran a tree-trimming company, was killed Saturday night in a shootout with Clallam County sheriff's deputies, said State Patrol spokeswoman Krista Hedstrom. Roe had three handguns on him when he was killed and other firearms inside a truck he allegedly had stolen from a man found shot to death hours before, Hedstrom said.

Kristine Fairbanks, a 51-year-old U.S. Forest Service officer, died on a remote road near Sequim, Hedstrom said.

Richard Ziegler, 59, a retired California corrections employee who moved to the area in May, was found dead in a fifth-wheel trailer where he was living while building a house nearby, The Associated Press reported.

Fairbanks was a nearly 20-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service and a K-9 handler. Her husband, Brian Fairbanks, is an officer with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the couple have a teenage daughter.

"This whole community here, we all knew her. We're sorry this tragedy had to unfold," Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. "It's devastating."

Roe, who has previous convictions for domestic-violence-related crimes, was sought by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) for failing to show up at an Aug. 29 meeting with his probation officer in Mason County. The officer had requested an arrest warrant, but Mason County Superior Court had not yet issued it, said DOC spokesman Chad Lewis.

Fairbanks was killed after she had apparently stopped Roe for driving a vehicle without license plates, officials said. Fairbanks contacted dispatchers for information about Roe, and operators got no response when they returned her call 10 minutes later, Hedstrom said.

"One of the things that struck me was the remoteness of the area," said Benedict. "That speaks to the bravery of the officer."

Authorities believe that Roe had traveled to the area from his home in Everett about 10 days ago and was staying at the Dungeness Forks Campground inside the Olympic National Forest. Roe allegedly had told his probation officer that he would no longer be checking in, Benedict said, and he told his mother in Everett that he was going camping.

It's unclear why he was staying at the campground or what prompted him to shoot Fairbanks, Benedict said. "There's no indication he knew any of the victims," Benedict said.

Troopers and Clallam County sheriff's deputies dispatched to Fairbanks' location found her body around 3:10 p.m. Her dog, Radar, was in her car. There was no sign of Roe or the van, Hedstrom said.

Authorities believe that after shooting Fairbanks, Roe abandoned the van in a densely wooded area. He then reportedly walked to a nearby home and fatally shot Ziegler. Hedstrom said that at about 5:30 p.m., Roe stole Ziegler's white pickup. Witnesses told police they saw Roe and a woman in the truck, saying they were looking for a dog. Police don't know who the woman was but don't consider her a suspect.

Around 5:45 p.m., a tipster called police to report the location of the abandoned van, Benedict said.

Three hours later, a security guard at the Longhouse Market and Deli on Highway 101 in Blyn called police when he saw a man he recognized from fliers that police had distributed. The security guard said the man bought a fifth of Canadian whiskey and two Pepsis.

"He seemed to be pretty calm and cordial," said Mike Swisher, shift manager at the store.

Two deputies arrived and confronted Roe as he was leaving the deli, Benedict said. The deputies told him to raise his hands, but he refused. Roe allegedly took a gun out and fired at least one shot at the deputies, who returned fire with nine shots, Benedict said. One deputy used an assault rifle, authorities said.

Roe died at the scene; neither deputy was injured. The deputies were placed on routine administrative leave and have been identified as Matt Murphy, a 14-year veteran with the department, and Andrew Wagner, a first-year deputy. Police said Murphy fired the fatal shot.

Hedstrom said authorities are investigating where Roe got the cache of firearms he had with him.

State troopers checked the registration of the pickup that Roe had been driving and went to the house of the registered owner. They found Ziegler's body.

Because Fairbanks was a federal officer, killed on federal land, the FBI has been called in to handle the investigation into her death. Agents were flown by helicopter from Seattle to the rural crime scenes late Saturday, said Seattle FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs.

The Clallam County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting death of Ziegler. The State Patrol is investigating Roe's death because deputies were involved in that slaying.

Roe's family declined to comment.

Roe's former neighbors in Shelton said he met his now ex-wife, Mary Catherine White, on a ski trip. The two married in 1998 on the front lawn of their house. They have a young daughter.

White filed for divorce in July 2006. Two months later, she carried a gun to her teaching job at Nisqually Middle School in Lacey, saying she needed it as protection from her husband, according to The Olympian newspaper. She had a domestic-violence protection order against him and told deputies that she had carried the gun for about a month, the newspaper reported. The school district placed her on administrative leave because it is against state law to take a firearm to a school campus, the Olympian reported. White eventually resigned.

In 2007, Shawn Roe was convicted of unlawful imprisonment, a felony, and malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor, in Mason County.

He was arrested July 21, also in Mason County, for violating his probation by failing to report to his probation officer and consuming alcohol. Roe was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 30 of which were spent outside of lockup on electronic home monitoring, according to the DOC. Roe finished this sentence Aug. 10 and reported the next day to his community corrections officer, according to a DOC statement.

Mason County Jail officials weren't available to comment Sunday on why Roe was released early.

Seattle Times staff reporter Emily Heffter reported from Sequim and Shelton. News researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.

Copyright 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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September 22, 2008, 11:02 PM
Stricter gun laws would have prevented this, Sarah Brady said so.

September 23, 2008, 03:51 AM
Rehabilitation should mean really hard work for long hours with very little pay. Then you have to pay rent for your room and meals while in prison. But instead we've created a criminals college by giving them all of their rights and free time. We've just add more and more pieces to the network of BGs. Yeah they're kept away from society but only for so long, they eventually get out. Then they'll more than likely reoffend sometimes with higher costs. We need harher punishments not longer prison terms. If we followed an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth in our judical punishments we'd have alot less crime. Boy the ACLU would love that. :banghead:
Okay enough of my rant, it just pisses me off when a known felon takes the lives of good people.
Sorry for the families of those who were lost, my deepest condolences.:(

September 23, 2008, 05:54 AM
You never know who or what you might meet 'out there' or anywhere.

I read this story and almost put it up myself earlier.

I am sad to hear about the death. She could protect herself but something went 'wrong'.

Think about ALL of the people in this country, woods/wilderness and city/suburbs, who do NOT have the right to protect themselves because the 'law' says it is NOT allowed.

Think about this too. Since the VICTIM was in police work - her killer will get his just dues eventually. If you or I got raped, hurt badly and/or KILLED - if they caught the criminal who killed me - my killer might not automatically get the 'death penalty' because after all, my life is worth less to the 'law' and court system. In many cases, killers - admitted killers or ones found GUILTY through a fair and speedy TRIAL - don't get put down for being a KILLER and many of them do not always get life sentences. I do believe in the death penalty along with being certain of the evidence.

It goes back to the saying, "What makes your life worth anymore than mine?" Nothing, absolutely nothing.

So in REAL life, many people are not allowed by 'law' to protect themselves. Meanwhile the criminals and killers who don't give a rat's @@@ about SAID LAW do their dirty deeds. Then if the person who is NOT allowed to protect himself, gets KILLED and becomes a VICTIM, the said KILLER (If found, put to trial AND found guilty.) might not even get put to death because it was a non police person that he killed. If he killed a police person, he would get an automatic DEATH sentence. Dual standard again on 'laws' for self protection and laws for the KILLER of ANY VICTIM anywhere in the US of A.

I am still upset that Manson and his ILK are still alive and living on tax dollar money too.

I don't understand WHY she left her DOG in her vehicle. I am sure that there is much more to this story. I would have my gun and my dog with me if that was my job.

I am SAD for the victim of this crime and for ALL victims especially the ONES who LIVE IN places where they do NOT have the right to protect themselves.

May she rest in peace and may her family get some peace too. That goes for all of the other victims and their families.


September 23, 2008, 07:59 AM
A criminal broke the law? I'm shocked I tell you, shocked. And did it in a National Forest where we are told by our Congress Critters that we're safe and don't need guns?

This must be a made up story. Could never happen.

September 23, 2008, 09:13 AM
That's an interesting observation about the dog being found in her vehicle. Stopping a vehicle in a remote area with no plates on it:you'd think that would put you on high alert.

September 23, 2008, 11:19 AM
I think families of those killed by paroles and earyl released need to get together and go to Congress. I am tired of this crap. Reminds me of a case here in AR back in late 1970's. Paul Ruiez and Earl Van Detton(sp of name may be wrong) from OK killed a small town policeman and wounded a ranger when they put them in the trunk and shot into it. The Ranger was a patient of mine. It took years to kill these guys even though they had a eye-witness. Still makes me angry. The government has blood on its hands and nothing is done.

September 23, 2008, 12:15 PM
This is the follow-up to the story I copied yesterday. I don't usually post long copies of news articles...but this story has so many points of discussion I thought it would be useful for us at THR.

As TexasRifleman noted - this killer was operating in a National Forest. A "gun-free" zone, if I'm not mistaken.

I would suggest this is a good example of why convicted violent felons should be restricted from possession of firearms. It makes it possible to lock them up again if they are making threats and behaving violently while illegally possessing a firearm. The key is - he should have been locked up for a long time for the multiple parole violations and weapons violations - but he wasn't.

Another point is the violation of the ex-wife's right to protection when she lost her teaching job for violating their "zero-tolerance" policy by arming herself against this maniac.

Suspect in 2 Sequim killings "was a walking time bomb"By Christine Clarridge and Jennifer Sullivan

Seattle Times staff reporters

A lot of people in Shelton were grateful when Shawn Roe recently packed up and moved someplace else.

Roe, who police say killed a U.S. Forest Service officer and a Sequim-area man Saturday before dying in a shootout with sheriff's deputies, left a wake of fear and uneasiness when he left Shelton a couple of months ago, say those who knew him.

"We thought he was a walking time bomb and we were relieved to see him go," said Chief Deputy Dean Byrd of the Mason County Sheriff's Office. "I'm just sorry he had to take with him an innocent bystander and a fellow law-enforcement officer — a woman with a teenage daughter."

The main targets of Roe's threats and rage were his ex-wife, Mary Catherine White, and her mother, Patti White. Both women would eventually take out protection orders against Roe and arm themselves against Roe's fury.

Both were also among those who expressed relief Monday in learning of Roe's death, even as they mourned the deaths of Forest Service officer Kristine Fairbanks, 51, and Richard Ziegler, 59, the two people authorities say Roe gunned down.

"This past Saturday night, our living in fear for our lives, as well as the fears of others who feared for our safety, came to a terrible end," Mary Catherine White said in a statement released Monday. "Domestic violence reached beyond our relationships and violently touched those of innocent community members."

Roe was killed by sheriff's deputies outside a Blyn deli and market just before 9 p.m.

Authorities believe Roe had traveled to the area from his home in Everett about 10 days ago and had been staying at the Dungeness Forks Campground in the Olympic National Forest. Roe was on probation, but had allegedly told his probation officer that he would no longer be checking in, Benedict said.

As authorities continue to investigate the shooting, court documents and those who knew Roe on Monday painted a picture of a man who was prone to threats and violence, hoarded guns and ammunition and bragged that he could live off the land.

About two years ago, when Roe lived in the Shelton area, Mason County sheriff's deputies began making regular visits to his home. According to police and court documents, at least eight incidents were reported from the Roe residence in August 2006.

Most of the calls came from Roe's ex-wife, who claimed in a 2006 court document that his instability and violence had been escalating over the past couple of years, partly in response to his increased use of alcohol and drugs. "He is not himself anymore and I can't trust he will be safe around me, my daughter or himself," she wrote.

In her divorce and protection-order petitions filed in 2006, White claimed Roe had tackled her, put her in compliance holds, threatened to kill her on many occasions and once shot her cellphone because she'd tried to call a friend for help. She claimed Roe threatened to shoot out the tires of her car if she tried to leave.

In response to one of the incidents, Roe tried to turn the tables on White and himself filed a request for an order of protection against White, claiming she threatened him after she hit him with her cellphone. In the same request, Roe admitted, "I did grab a gun and yelled at her."

His request for a protection order was denied.

Protection orders were granted to White's parents, though, after Patti White filed a petition claiming Roe scratched her car with his keys, threatened to burn her house down, and said he was going to "shove her teeth down" her throat. She was so afraid for such a long time that her husband taught her how to handle a gun and, for a period, she carried a small firearm with her at all times, she said.

Mary Catherine White lost her job as a teacher at Nisqually Middle School in Lacey in 2006 because her fear of Roe led her to believe she needed a weapon on her at all times despite the school's zero-tolerance policy.

"I feel she was vindicated in that respect," said Byrd, the Mason County chief deputy. "She was completely right. All of her fears were founded."

In her statement, Mary Catherine White wrote, "Many people did not believe the truth about Shawn Roe. It was easier to say that I was crazy, overreacting or just plain female."

She thanked the Mason County Sheriff's Department, State Patrol and the state Department of Corrections (DOC) for taking her "warnings seriously" and being "proactive" in protecting her family as far as possible under current law.

Nevertheless, family friends said, Roe flouted all of the laws and prohibitions against him.

Despite court orders, Roe stalked his ex-wife, called her, threatened her and left nasty letters whenever he felt like it.

At one point in 2006, police confiscated more than 60 items, including firearms, ammunition and a crossbow from Roe after a court order banned him from ownership of the items, according to police and court records.

Roe was arrested at his former wife's home on March 15, 2007, and police found he had a loaded handgun tucked into his waistband.

In 2007, Roe was convicted of unlawful imprisonment, a felony, and malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor, in Mason County. That conviction stemmed from an incident on Aug. 5, 2006, when he refused to let his wife leave during a fight at their home.

Roe was arrested July 21 of this year in Mason County for violating his probation by failing to report to his probation officer and consuming alcohol. Roe was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 30 of which were spent outside of lockup on electronic home monitoring, according to the DOC.

Roe reportedly checked in with his probation officer again in August, but reportedly told his probation officer at some point that he did not plan to come in ever again, according to a family friend.

An arrest warrant for failing to show up at an Aug. 29 meeting was requested by Roe's DOC probation officer, but had not yet been issued by the Mason County Superior Court, said DOC spokesman Chad Lewis.

Copyright 2008 The Seattle Times Company

September 23, 2008, 01:43 PM
We have become too polite for our own safety. I for one have learned from this story to not be embarassed to say, "That's close enough Mister", especially in a remote area. Hope I never need to put it into practice.

We used to call night shift "The Sewer Shift", a time when the manhole covers opened up and all the dredges of society would walk in the moonlight, seems like the sewers are always open nowadays.

September 23, 2008, 03:02 PM
I almost posted that article, too. The list of Washington State murders committed by parolees is getting way too long.

FYI, national forests are not gun-free zones. Under current rules, national parks are gun-free zones.

September 23, 2008, 03:42 PM
FYI, national forests are not gun-free zones. Under current rules, national parks are gun-free zones.

I dont think its a hard and fast rule though. Guns are banned in Cherokee National Forest in TN, as well as Land Between The Lakes, which is under the Forest Service. I would bet there are other National Forests that dont allow firearms as well.

September 23, 2008, 08:33 PM
I'm interested (and saddened) in the tie to the ex-wife's story. She knew she needed protection from this individual, and she did what she could to be responsible for her own safety.

Thanks to completely pointless laws, she lost her job as a result.

I really, really hope we get incorporation of the RKBA at the state level, and soon.

Followed by the recognition of the right to self defense as a civil right, that cannot be taken away by national parks, federal buildings, states, counties, cities or businesses.

I knew this federal officer. She patrolled the area where I work. So I'm completely in agreement with the other half of this problem. Why was this "problem" loose? Why wasn't he behind bars, where he belonged? It's the system, I know...

Sorry for the rant, but I'm tired of hearing about victims. I simply do not understand why it is "politically incorrect" to push for the right to not be a victim.

September 23, 2008, 09:16 PM
Why was this "problem" loose? Why wasn't he behind bars, where he belonged? It's the system, I know...

That's also the part I fail to understand. He was known to be dangerous. He made threats against several people. He was illegally in possession of a variety of weapons. He repeatedly violated parole.

Why was he walking around free to kill innocent people? And why does this question come up over and over? It seems most every time a violent act is committed - it is by a repeat offender known to be dangerous who has been let out of prison for reasons unfathomable.

4v50 Gary
September 23, 2008, 09:23 PM
I think we need to reinstitute the ancient Greek punishment of ostracism. You get kicked out and banished forever. Some place like the Workers' Paradise would make quick work of criminals like Roe.

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