Fatal shooting in North Bend shakes up neighbors
April 3, 2012
By Michele Mihalovich
New: April 3, 2012 at 1:08 p.m.
A North Bend neighborhood is traumatized after one of their own shot an intruder who had thrown a propane tank through his sliding glass window and threatened to kill him and his girlfriend.
Police say that at about midnight March 30, 911 received a call from the 400 block of Southeast Orchard Drive from a man who said a stranger had entered and started trashing his house, and kept yelling, “Where are you? I’m going to kill you.”
Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office, said the couple, a 46-year-old man and his girlfriend, hid in a bedroom while on the phone with a dispatcher.
She said the man who lived in the house retrieved a handgun from his nightstand and kept telling the intruder, “I have a pistol. Get out of my house!”
The suspect, identified by a family member as Joshua Henderson, a 30-year-old North Bend man, then kicked the bedroom door down and the man fired several shots at the suspect to defend himself and his girlfriend, West said.
When deputies arrived, they found Henderson dead on the floor just outside the bedroom.
A woman who lives near the home where the shooting happened told the Star April 2 that she didn’t hear the incident, but that her dogs kept barking at about midnight, and so she got up and saw all the police cars.
“This is so scary,” she said, and asked that her name not be used. “This is one of my biggest fears. I’m a single mom with two little boys. And I don’t have a gun.”
She said it sounds like her neighbor showed every bit of restraint and warned the intruder over and over that he had a gun.
“When it’s between you and them, what are you supposed to do?” she asked.
She said her boys are traumatized and pointed to a pile of toy guns that the boys had set on a chair near their front door.
“They wanted to make sure they were ready if someone tried breaking into our home,” she said.
She said she suspects that the intruder may have come to her home before going to the neighbor’s place because the bottom hinge of her screen door had been ripped from the frame.
“The door was just fine when I came home from work Friday night,” she said.
West said KCSO detectives are starting to put the pieces together of what happened that night before the shooting.
Henderson had been out drinking that night with friends, first at a comedy club in Kirkland, and then later in Issaquah, West said.
One of the individuals, who had been with Henderson, said that as the night wore on, he became more and more aggressive, according to West.
“As the group was driving home, the suspect became ‘so out of control,’ he was asked to get out of the car,” she said. Friends told police that they dropped off Henderson near Interstate 90 and Bendigo Boulevard in North Bend.
There was a report that night from a convenience store clerk that a male subject was being verbally abusive with customers, but when deputies arrived, the suspect was gone, West said.
Later, at about 11:30 p.m., a 911 call was received from a woman in the 300 block of Fifth Avenue. She reported that a male was beating on her doors and windows and trying to get in, West said.
Police responded, but the suspect was gone by the time they arrived. West said police believe the suspect left the house on Fifth Avenue, and then broke into the Southeast Orchard Drive home.
North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner said the suspect’s name would not be officially released until the autopsy is completed and family has been notified. The Star confirmed Henderson’s name through a family member.
West said the medical examiner’s office is expected to conduct toxicology tests on the suspect to determine whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
Toner said toxicology tests could take up to six weeks to complete, but that a preliminary report might be released before that.
He said the victim did not wish to be identified.
“It was clearly a traumatic incident and will affect him for a long time,” he said.
The neighbor said the victim is “a nice guy,” although she didn’t know him very well.
“I saw his face when he came out of the house after the shooting,” she said. “You could tell he was in shock. He just had a blank stare. But after he sat with the medics for a little while, he just broke down. That sound will be etched in my mind for the rest of my life.”