Sawed-off shotgun found in suspect’s truck

Oak Harbor police found a loaded, sawed-off shotgun last week in a truck belonging to a domestic-violence suspect who caused a lengthy police response April 13, according to police.

Prosecutors charged the suspect, James R. Jensen, 37, in Island County Superior Court April 14 with attempting to elude police, domestic-violence assault in the fourth degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.

Police said they thought Jensen was possibly holed up in his home and armed with the shotgun during the day-long incident in which police evacuated neighbors and deployed tear gas. It turned out, however, that Jensen had left the house early in the incident.

Officers caught Jensen, who was unarmed, later that night at a downtown bar.

On April 20, detectives obtained a search warrant for Jensen’s truck, which he allegedly drove when he eluded police and was later found parked near his house, according to court documents.

During his preliminary appearance in court, Jensen was ordered to surrender any guns he possessed or were under his control, but he signed a declaration stating he had none.

In court April 21, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme asked the judge to increase Jensen’s bail from $50,000 to $100,000 based on the allegation that he wasn’t truthful in the declaration and did possess a gun.

But Jensen’s attorney, Steve McKay, argued that Jensen had been truthful under a plain-language reading of the declaration. He was in custody when he signed it and obviously wasn’t in control of a firearm at that time.

Judge Alan Hancock agreed with McKay and declined to increase Jensen’s bail amount.

Home indicated that Jensen may face an additional charge related to the gun.

According to court documents, Jensen is accused of assaulting a woman at their Southeast Sixth Avenue home and then eluding a pursuing police officer in his truck. He allegedly texted the woman while she was with police, saying that he should have shot the officer and shot himself.

The woman told police that Jensen owned a shotgun.

Police officers later saw movement inside the house and believed Jensen was inside. Fearing that he was armed and dangerous, police surrounded the home, deployed the department’s High Risk Entry Team, closed roads and evacuated nearby neighbors to the fire station and notified nearby schools.

Tear gas was deployed into the house at one point.

The incident ended after the High Risk Entry Team entered the house and found Jensen wasn’t there. Police believe he left through a back door earlier in the day.

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