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Suspect in shooting at assisted living facility dies

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By Diana Hefley and Rikki King
Herald Writers
EVERETT -- The 87-year-old man accused of shooting an employee at a Stanwood assisted living facility has died.
Arthur Hames was moved Feb. 15 from the Snohomish County Jail to a local hospital. The Medical Examiner's Office was notified Tuesday that Hames died at the hospital.
The medical examiner isn't investigating. That indicates Hames' death is being attributed to natural causes.
Prosecutors already had dismissed the assault charge against Hames after it became apparent that he wasn't expected to recover from his health problems. He was no longer under police custody when he died, sheriff's officials said.
Hames was living at Josephine Sunset Home on Feb. 4 when he reportedly walked into a supervisor's office and fired two rounds.
The victim, Roger Holbrook, was hit in the stomach by one of the bullets.
The men struggled over the gun until other employees were able to restrain Hames.
Holbrook, 59, was flown by medical helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was released later that night.
Hames was jailed for investigation of first-degree assault. He made a brief court appearance the following day. A judge ordered him held on $200,000 bail. He also was banned from returning to Josephine. Hames appeared frail on the video feed from the jail.
A prosecutor said in court that Hames admitted to police that he intended to kill the victim.
The elderly man allegedly said, "I have something for you," before he drew a small handgun and began firing, court papers said. Hames had retrieved the gun from his room.
He told detectives that he had been bullied and physically abused for months. He said after he killed Holbrook he planned to turn the gun on himself, court papers said.
Terry Robertson, chief executive officer of Josephine, said there is no evidence that Hames was mistreated. He had been living at Josephine for about six months.
The state Department of Social and Health Services opened an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting. The agency oversees licensing for assisted living centers. It wasn't immediately clear if that investigation has been finished.
Firearms are prohibited at Josephine, Robertson said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » EverettStanwoodAssault

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