MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Police released the identity of a Mount Vernon police officer that was shot in the line of duty Thursday as 61-year old, Mike (Mick) McClaughry.
He was one of several officers who responded to a call about 5:30 p.m. that a man had been shot on North LaVenture Road and East Fir Street.
The suspected gunman, identified as Ernesto Lee Rivas, 44, continued to fire at police throughout the evening. He shot McClaughry in the back of the head as officers approached the residence.
McClaughry, a 31-year veteran of the department, was taken to Harborview Medical Center. He arrived at the hospital at 9:38 p.m. He was unconscious and in very serious condition. He underwent surgery about an hour later. On Friday morning, hospital officials said he was in critical condition in the intensive care unit, according to King5 News.
“He is a resilient individual, and I have no doubt he will pull through,” said Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock.
Shortly after midnight Thursday, officers took Rivas and two teens into custody without more shooting or use of force. Police say the crime scene is still active, as some residents have been asked to leave their homes while investigations continue.
Police initially thought hostages were inside the home, but are now trying to figure out what role they played during the incident. Rivas is well known to police and was first sent to a Washington State prison in 1992, reported KIRO7.
The 44-year-old suspect was held in the Skagit County Jail on investigation of attempted murder in the first degree. Due to the serious nature of the crime and this possibly being the suspect’s “third strike,” the Prosecutor’s Office recommended a bail of $1 million, and the judge agreed.
Rivas reportedly refused to sign any paperwork during his appearance in court.
The teens arrested in connection with the shooting include a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male. They are being held for attempted murder, and bail is set at $500,000 for each of them.
“It’s a very dynamic situation,” said Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis.
Police said the suspect is “a violent offender and well known to law enforcement.” He fired shots at a SWAT vehicle outside the home throughout the evening. His motive is still unclear.
Francis said there were so many law enforcement agencies assisting with the investigation, you “couldn’t name them all.” There was also a widespread community response to the shooting, showing support.
Photo source Mt. Vernon Facebook page