Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News-Times Trooper Heather Axtman gives a press conference last week after police shot a man in the arm while he allegedly pointed a BB gun at a woman and then police.

Man shot by police aimed BB gun at woman, officers

The man shot and wounded by a police officer last week in Oak Harbor was armed with a loaded BB gun.

The suspect held the “realistic-looking BB gun” to a woman’s neck and pointed it at law enforcement officers, according to court documents.

Nathan Paul Trujillo, 21, was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping in the first degree. He was booked into Island County Jail Friday evening on $100,000 bail after being transported from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Arraignment for Trujillo is set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, in Island County Superior Court.

Trujillo is accused of “intentionally abducting another person with intent to inflict bodily injury on him or her, or to inflict extreme mental distress on him or her.” Maximum sentencing for first degree kidnapping is life imprisonment and/or $50,000 fine; standard sentencing is four to six years.

Skagit County Multi-Agency Response Team, or SMART, investigated the incident and released details Monday.

Court documents also reveal Trujillo has numerous charges in several jurisdictions, ranging from assault to trespassing.

Nearly 20 SMART detectives investigated the July 11 incident, which included interviewing all responding law enforcement personnel and citizen witnesses; documenting the scene with photographs, measuring/diagramming equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as collecting evidence and canvassing businesses and residences in the area.

Trujillo was shot in the elbow on the morning of July 11 by an Oak Harbor police officer using a rifle. Trujillo is accused of terrorizing a 48-year woman and refusing to drop his weapon when confronted by law enforcement officers, court documents state.

About nine Oak Harbor police officers and deputies with Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call that a man was assaulting a woman near Hal Ramaley Park in the 500 block of SE Bayshore Drive.

Officers gave “multiple commands to drop the gun. Trujillo did not drop the gun, but instead pointed the gun at officers,” an affidavit states. “Trujillo then pointed the gun at (the victim) while standing over her. At that time an officer shot Trujillo, striking him in the elbow.”

“Multiple officers converged on Trujillo and took him into custody,” the report states.

Trujillo received immediate medical care from officers and medics who arrived on scene, said Washington State Trooper Heather Axtman, spokeswoman for SMART.

The pistol Trujillo pointed at the victim and police was “ultimately found to be a realistic looking BB gun with a loaded CO2 cartridge,” court papers state.

Part of the grip of the compressed air gun was broken off and was found on the ground.

Determining if a gun is real during an armed confrontation isn’t possible, Axtman said.

“We’re never going to assume it’s fake,” she said. “We’re not going to take that chance. We have a split second to determine the situation.”

The victim told police she did not know the assailant. He followed her for approximately two blocks as she walked in the vicinity of the park, documents state. She told police Trujillo yelled at her numerous times that her family had been abducted and “they” were going to abduct her as well.

The woman sat on a bench to try and avoid Trujillo, but he allegedly became violent.

“Trujillo then attacked (the victim) by grabbing onto her, pulling her hair, shaking her and removing her shoes and socks,” arresting documents state.

“Trujillo continued telling her she needed to get in the van, that she was going to die and that he had her family hostage and would kill them,” according to court documents.

The victim told investigators that the assailant then pulled out the pistol and pointed it at her. Injuries consistent with the barrel of the gun being pressed against her neck and face were found, according to court records.

She “believed the gun was real and thought she was going to die,” the report said. “Witnesses described seeing (the victim) lying in a fetal position with Trujillo standing over her with the gun pressed against her neck.

“The witnesses could also hear Trujillo screaming at (her) ‘God will judge you.’”

Family members in Oak Harbor with whom Trujillo occasionally stays told detectives that Trujillo has a history of mental health issues and drug involvement. They also said he doesn’t have a permanent address.

Police said the woman was uninjured. She has stayed at the Haven, Oak Harbor’s emergency homeless shelter, where workers reached out to her to provide emotional support.

Trujillo was arrested and convicted in Island County for several offenses over the years, including assault, theft, minor in possession and/or consumption of alcohol, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Two years ago, Trujillo was convicted of malicious mischief in the third degree for spray-painting graffiti on an Oak Harbor business.

In court documents, Trujillo is described as unemployed and homeless. Documents also state he was contacted recently by the Oak Harbor Police Department on suspicion of trespassing and drug-related issues.

When requesting an arrest warrant instead of a summons, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Eric Ohme wrote that Trujillo “has a history of failing to appear for court and also represents a significant risk to commit a violent offense.”

The police officer involved in the shooting was not identified. He’s on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice, Axtman said.

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