Investigation, absences challenge Issaquah police

September 27, 2011

The investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of a Maple Valley man and a manpower shortage created dual challenges for the Issaquah Police Department in the days after the Sept. 24 shootout.

The police department placed the four officers involved in the shooting on paid administrative leave after the incident on the Clark Elementary School campus, per standard procedure. The officers involved in the shooting could return to work a little more than a week after the incident, although the date depends on when the investigation is completed.

Because the police department is involved in the death, the King County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into the Sept. 24 incident and the fatal shooting.

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Clark Elementary students return to school, a crime scene

September 27, 2011

Clark Elementary School administrators, teachers and volunteers sought to reassure students Sept. 26 as the campus reopened to students after a lethal shootout on school grounds days earlier.

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Police roadblocks create traffic headaches

September 27, 2011

Police used roadblocks to slice Issaquah in half in the moments after a gunman abandoned a car along a downtown street and trekked to Clark Elementary School for a fatal shootout.

The rapid police response — from the Issaquah Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and at least a half-dozen other agencies — left motorists unable to use most of Second Avenue Southeast and a critical stretch of Front Street South for more than seven hours.

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King County authorities identify Issaquah gunman

September 27, 2011

NEW — 3:10 p.m. Sept. 27, 2011

King County authorities identified the gunman slain in Issaquah on Sept. 24 as Ronald W. Ficker, a 51-year-old Maple Valley man.

Ficker died from multiple gunshot wounds, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Tuesday afternoon.

Issaquah police fatally shot Ficker on the Clark Elementary School campus after the gun-toting man abandoned a car on a downtown street and led police through downtown Issaquah. Officials said Ficker died at the scene.

King County property records indicate Ficker purchased a house in rural King County south of Issaquah in 1989.

Ficker posted a link on his Facebook page Sept. 18 to a New Zealand-based support group called the Hearing Voices Network.

“We believe that hearing voices is a normal variation of human experience.It is estimated that between 3-5 percent of the population hear voices, yet less than 1 percent are ever diagnosed with an illness,” the group’s website states.

Issaquah school reopens as gunman’s identity remains unknown

September 26, 2011

NEW — 9:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2011

Clark Elementary School reopened to students Monday morning after a lethal shootout on school grounds days earlier.

The investigation into the death of a 51-year-old Maple Valley man in a fusillade of gunfire from Issaquah police officers continued, although the King County Medical Examiner’s Office did not release the gunman’s identity as expected Monday.

The gunman’s identity is due to remain unreleased until the medical examiner’s office can identify the body using DNA or dental records.

Clark Elementary School administrators, teachers and volunteers sought to reassure students as the campus reopened.

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Gunman dies in shootout near Issaquah High School

September 24, 2011

Guardian One, the King County Sheriff's Office helicopter, takes off from the Issaquah Community Center lawn during the search for a gunman. By Christina Lords

UPDATED — 8:45 a.m. Sept. 26, 2011

Issaquah police shot and killed a gunman Saturday after police said the man opened fire near downtown Issaquah schools as children and spectators gathered for sporting events.

The man parked a car on Front Street South at Newport Way Southwest and then headed on foot, carrying two rifles — including a bolt-action hunting rifle — to the area near Clark Elementary and Issaquah High schools at about 11:15 a.m. on a muggy fall day.

Police said the man menacingly pointed firearms at passers-by as he headed about a half-mile to Clark Elementary School.

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