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Man Accused Of Drive-By Shooting On Cop Released By Judge Without Bail

Bonney Lake, WA – A homeless man with a stolen gun who fired at least 23 shots towards a Bonney Lake Police Officer during a drive-by has been released on his own recognizance without bail.

Bonney Lake Police Chief Bryan Jeter said the officer saw the gunman firing the barrage of rounds and ended up having to take evasive action to avoid being hit, KCPQ reported.

“It’s very concerning that we have a person who chose to shoot at a police officer and is now released and is released on no bail, is back out on the streets,” Chief Jeter told the news outlet. “It’s certainly concerning from a safety aspect.”

The harrowing incident occurred on Jan. 31 at the intersection of State Route 410 and 192nd Avenue, as Bonney Lake Police Department (BLPD) Officer Buddy Mahlum was sitting in traffic behind a minivan, KCPQ reported.

That’s when Officer Mahlum, who was in an unmarked patrol car, suddenly noticed movement in the vehicle in front of him.

“He noticed the passenger window had rolled down and he saw a muzzle flash followed by popping sounds in rapid succession and obviously he knew it was gunfire,” Chief Jeter told KCPQ. “Being that he is a police officer, figured it was directed at him so he took evasive action and tried to get out of the path of gunfire.”

Officer Mahlum activated the siren on his patrol vehicle and the female driver of the minivan pulled over a short distance away, KCPQ reported.

“You train for that but you never expect it and hope you never experience it. I thought he did an incredible job of keeping his composure,” Chief Jeter said of Officer Mahlum’s actions in the wake of the shooting.

The alleged gunman, 24-year-old Juan Carlos Martinez, bailed out of the passenger side of the vehicle and took off on foot into the woods.

Additional officers swarmed the intersection as a multi-agency manhunt ensued, KCPQ reported.

The female driver of the minivan was allegedly intoxicated and refused to cooperate with investigators, Chief Jeter said.

Police eventually apprehended Martinez at the Renwood Apartment complex approximately one hour after the shooting.

The weapon investigators recovered in connection with the attack was allegedly stolen, KCPQ reported.

But when Martinez went before Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stanley Rumbaugh, the judge inexplicably opted to release him on his own recognizance without bail.

Bonney Lake resident Sierrah Cram said the judge’s decision to be so lenient with a dangerous suspect is concerning, KCPQ reported.

“How can you feel safe knowing that there is someone out there that can get away with whatever and the judge is going to let him go?” Cram asked.

Rumbaugh’s judicial assistant, Brian Matson, said the court is unable to comment on the case because it is still under adjudication, KCPQ reported.

Rumbaugh ordered the alleged gunman to comply with several conditions, to include showing up at a pre-trial service program on Wednesday.

KCPQ confirmed Martinez reported to the program as mandated.

He is due back in court on March 1.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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