Gunman accused of killing deputy turns himself in

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - A gunman suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy surrendered Sunday to police officers who were negotiating with the man and firing tear gas into his house in attempt to end the day-old standoff.

Thomas Martin Roberts, 53, was taken into custody after walking out of the house and turning himself in without incident to officers, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Borte.

''There was no one else inside the residence and no injuries involved,'' Borte said.

Wallace E. ''Wally'' Davis, 48, was shot in the head when he responded to a report of a disturbance at the suspect's house on Saturday. He died at a hospital about an hour later.

Roberts was jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder of a police officer, Borte said. The arrested man has a history of mental problems and arrests but apparently no convictions.

About 50 officers were at the scene Sunday, including 30 members of the Seattle police SWAT team, Borte said. Police fired several rounds of tear gas into the two-story house and switched power on and off in an effort to deny the suspect sleep, Borte said.

Authorities were investigating whether the man had a gas mask that enabled him to withstand the tear-gas assaults that began Saturday night, he said.

The residence had problems before the standoff, authorities said. Officers ''have responded to this residence several times in the last couple of years for calls of this nature,'' Washington State Patrol spokesman Glen Tyrell told KCPQ-TV.

Clallam County Prosecutor Chris Shea said Roberts had been committed for mental-health treatment under state law sometime within the past year.

The slain deputy was a father of three with another child due in February, officials said. Davis had been with the department for five years after moving from California, where he had been a police officer in La Palma and other communities for about two decades. He also was a published author of Christian mysteries, Western novels and cartoon books, the department said.

Port Angeles is on the Olympic Peninsula, about 60 miles northwest of Seattle.


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