Bulletin: Thomas Qualls charged in Alki police shooting case

September 9, 2010 at 9:59 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 49 Comments

ORIGINAL 9:59 AM REPORT: The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has just confirmed that 59-year-old Thomas J. Qualls, shot by police after a confrontation at his Alki home last Friday night (original WSB coverage here), is now charged with three counts of second-degree assault. He is scheduled for arraignment in two weeks; police had told us earlier today that once he is released from the hospital, he will be booked into the King County Jail. (12:46 pm note – Per KCJ and Harborview, he’s now out of the hospital and in jail.)

10:19 AM: We have just finished typing the full transcription of the narrative (sequentially published but now complete, below) in the charging document. In summary, there’s some new information, that police say officers and Qualls both fired their weapons, that they say Qualls had a third gun, and that marijuana was found in the house. The phone call that brought police there in the first place is also more fully described:

… Police Officers were dispatched to 6114 SW Admiral Way … A caller, who was later identified as (Qualls’ daughter), stated that she received a phone call from the defendant, who told her that he and her mother had got into an argument, and that she had left the house. He told (daughter) that if her mother did not return, that he would shoot himself, and then she heard what sounded to her as one gunshot, then the line went dead. She explained to the 911 dispatcher, that her father had access to several weapons in the house.

Sgt. Strand was the first to arrive on the scene and parked his patrol vehicle several houses to the east of the defendant’s house and waited for additional units to arrive. While he was waiting outside of his vehicle, Sgt. Strand stated that he heard what sounded like fireworks or possibly a gunshot coming from the area outside the defendant’s house.

Officer Peloquin, who at the time of this incident was in plain clothes and was acting as a Field Training Officer capacity for his partner Officer Gallegos, who was completing his field training, arrived a short time later and met with Sgt. Strand at the scene. The three officers observed that the defendant’s house was dark, with no lights on in the front portion, but noticed that lights were on in the rear of the house. The defendant’s house was on the north side of SW Admiral Way, and an alley ran north and south, just east of the defendant’s home.

The officers walked down the alley to the rear of the house and noticed that the back door was open. Officer Gallegos walked into the back yard area, between a detached garage, which was north of the main house, and a large stack of firewood that blocked the officer’s path to the back door. Sgt. Strand was just to the left of Officer Gallegos and Officer Peloquin to Sgt. Strand’s left. As they approached the stack of firewood, Officer Gallegos called for the defendant, identifying himself as a Seattle Police Officer.

At about this same time, Sgt. Strand noticed that the defendant was armed with an assault rifle, and had the weapon positioned across his body as he walked outside onto a deck, which was about eight feet above the surface of the back yard. Sgt. Strand announced that defendant was armed and commands were given by Sgt. Strand to the defendant to drop the weapon. The defendant yelled something similar to, “f*** you guys, I’m going to get you” at this moment, the defendant raised his rifle and pointed it at the officers. Officers stated that the defendant fired his weapon, possibly three times in their direction, at the same time all three officers fired their duty weapons toward the position of the defendant.

Officers also broadcasted over Seattle Police radio that the defendant had fired shots at them. All three officers moved to a better cover position after the volley of shots and waited for additional units to arrive before attempting to contact the defendant. During this time Officer Peloquin covered the suspect, who was now lying on the back deck, with the rifle next to him and the defendant was still conscious and telling officers “I’m not down.”

Additional units arrived and the defendant was taken into custody. Officers patted the defendant down for additional weapons and recovered a fully loaded .45 caliber handgun in his pocket.

Also recovered was the assault weapon, which was 7.62 caliber rifle, with a fully loaded magazine, which has a thirty-round capacity. Also recovered at the time of the arrest was a loaded .22 caliber rifle, which was located near the back door of the house. Officers found that the defendant had suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was taken by Seattle Fire to Harborview Medical Center to be treated.

Detectives with the Seattle Police Homicide Unit were called to the scene and were informed that the defendant had several surveillance cameras showing the surrounding areas around his house. The defendant would have been easily able to see the officers’ arrival and their positions prior to making contact with them outside.

A search warrant was obtained for the defendant’s house (by phone). During the search several notes were photographed and recovered. The notes read “got back up! Going for blood!”, “be careful, it loaded and ready to go!”, “let play not you (wife’s first name). Love Tom” and “lock and loaded, let go.” These notes were recovered from the stairs leading from the kitchen to an upstairs bedroom; also on the stairs was another fully loaded magazine for the assault rifle, which has a capacity of thirty 7.62 rounds.

On the kitchen table was a large amount of suspected marijuana, which appeared to have just been cultivated and was drying on the table. Seattle Police CSI processed the scene and collected that listed items and the computer which included the surveillance camera monitor.

On 9/7/10, Detective Steiger interviewed the defendant after reading him his Miranda Warnings, which the defendant stated that he understood. The defendant was still at Harborview Medical Center, but was coherent during the interview. The defendant stated that he did not remember what happened on the night of the shooting. When it was suggested that it appeared he wanted to commit suicide by the officers shooting him, he did not disagree or agree with the suggestion.

The facts presented in this case establish probable cause to charge the defendant with Assault 2nd egree RCW 9A.36.021.

(document ends with signature)

Prosecutors are asking that bail be set for Qualls, once he’s out of the hospital, at $1 million, because, they write, “…(he) poses a flight risk and is likely to commit a violent offense. … The defendant has no known criminal history but fired an assault rifle at three police officers when they attempted to make contact with him in regards to his daughter’s concern about a possible suicide attempt.” The three counts of second-degree assault with which he is charged represent one count for each of the officers at whom authorities say Qualls fired. 11:40 AM NOTE: The King County Jail Register shows Qualls booked into jail as of 5:18 pm yesterday, so we are checking with Harborview to see if he is indeed out of the hospital. (Confirmed 12:46 pm)

(Photo credits: Friday night scene, Christopher Boffoli for WSB; guns, Seattle Police, published by SPD Blotter.)

49 Comments

  1. Thank you, SPD!

    Comment by cmc — 10:29 am September 9, 2010 #

  2. This case just makes me wonder how many other angry, narcissistic, wife-abusing, middle-aged white guys are hiding in plain sight with firearms in our community. One, two, 10, 100? Betcha it’s more than one.

    Comment by mark — 10:46 am September 9, 2010 #

  3. Thanks for the details. This case has been on my mind since Saturday. It’s upsetting how depressed, angry and desperate he must have been.

    Comment by Jeff — 11:02 am September 9, 2010 #

  4. mark and Jeff: At this point, we don’t know whether this guy was mentally ill or just had anger problems. For the community, that’s not the most important thing.
    .
    What’s important is this: How can we keep firearms out of the hands of people like this?
    .
    According to news reports, Thomas Qualls had a concealed weapons permit and had somehow managed to acquire an assault rifle as well as a pistol. As this story develops, I’d be interested to find out whether Qualls had anything in his past (hospitalization for mental illness, felony conviction) that could have or should have been used to keep these deadly weapons out of his hands.
    .
    Of course, it’s impossible to keep a really determined person from getting a gun. But in the case of Thomas Qualls, maybe we didn’t try hard enough.

    Comment by DP — 11:11 am September 9, 2010 #

  5. DP, as we noted very early on, and as is reaffirmed by what’s in the court documents, he does not have a criminal history, not even a Municipal Court criminal history. I checked that all in online records (which are thorough, and go back many years, for the state/county as well as the city’s excellent system) as soon as I got the name from a reliable source. One traffic ticket, one leash-law citation.
    .
    As for mental illness, that, unless disclosed by him, his lawyer(s), or someone close to him, is not possible to discover, because of medical-privacy laws. Same laws that for example end the public-information trail when a mentally ill suspect goes into Western State Hospital. We also reported the second gun on night one, from scanner traffic, and as noted if you read the entire narrative here, police say they found a third one – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:30 am September 9, 2010 #

  6. I’m going to be right there agreeing with the notion that pointing any kind of gun at a bunch of cops is a quick ticket to another place, no ifs ands or buts. However, I also want to say what nobody else here is saying. I used to be a close neighbor of this guy. I knew him and his family, not well, but enough to know that he and they are all really good people who were always very kind and gracious to me and my family. Obviously something truly bizarre went down that night and there’s probably a ton of backstory leading up to it. Apart from the fact that it culminated in a hail of residential gunfire, none of that is any of our business. But the simple fact remains, in my mind at least: Tom is a good guy. His record attests to it as well. Life takes some vicious turns. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had crises in our lives. Fortunately very few of us have ended up this way; but I bet a lot of the anti-gun contingent out there has driven their cars in a less-than-safe manner while angry or upset about something. Your car or truck is no less deadly than that assault rifle when driven in the heat of passion. Your yard tools, kitchen cutlery, spare gasoline cans, etc. are all just as deadly as that scary looking gun. All I’m saying here is to have some compassion and understanding for the humans involved in this incident, for they are all just humans. It isn’t really fair to say that 59 years of decency is instantly washed away and suddenly the guy becomes the devil because of a momentary meltdown. I am very happy Tom is still here and I certainly wish the best for him and his family in this clearly very trying time. I’m also very glad nobody else was hit by any of the other 14 or so rounds fired off in the incident. Be strong, family Qualls!

    Comment by PGS — 12:53 pm September 9, 2010 #

  7. Nicely said, PGS.

    Comment by WSlover — 1:32 pm September 9, 2010 #

  8. In principle I agree with you PGS. And I did not know this gentleman. But to offer a different viewpoint, I might also point out that having a gun and being unsafe with it because you’ve had a bad day seems to be quite a lot different than having a bad day and firing at police officers. That seems to cross the line from understandable frustration to something a bit more, well, viscious. Have I had a bad day and driven too fast? Sure. But have I had a bad day and drove my car fast so that I could run into some police and kill them? No way. So, if indeed he did shoot at police with an assault rifle as the report suggests, I am not sure that counts as a “momentary meltdown,” or a meltdown most people on the planet have experienced. I appreciate that this guy may have been a perfectly decent, reasonable person up until that point and that may certainly be the memory you want to keep of him, but that does not mean this person was a decent, reasonable person the night in question.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 2:37 pm September 9, 2010 #

  9. The police report alluded to the idea that he was not trying to actually kill the officers, but instead wanted them to shoot him

    .

    From the report ;

    “Also recovered was the assault weapon, which was 7.62 caliber rifle, with a fully loaded magazine, which has a thirty-round capacity.”

    Then later;

    “…at this moment, the defendant raised his rifle and pointed it at the officers. Officers stated that the defendant fired his weapon, possibly three times in their direction…”

    1) The magazine was fully loaded, but he shot 3 rounds. How did that work?

    2) Why does the included picture show a rifle with 19 rounds next to it? 19 rounds in a 30 round capacity magazine certainly isn’t fully loaded.

    .

    Is this is a simple as a sloppy report? One would hope that in a case this serious they would have paid more attention to the details.

    Comment by @sw — 2:39 pm September 9, 2010 #

  10. (OK, the rifle has 20 rounds next to it, but that still isn’t a fully loaded magazine)

    Comment by @sw — 2:50 pm September 9, 2010 #

  11. mark, I wondered the same thing, only more general. There are probably lots of armed people who behave badly at home, and have the capacity to lose their tenuous control. And, PGS, he may have been decent to you, but that doesn’t mean he was decent to everyone. People can be different in different situations.

    However, I’m being hypothetical, I don’t know what happened in this case, and I feel for his family. The only speculation I have is that maybe he was drunk? His actions sound seriously disinhibited, in any case. Whatever, it’s inexcusable to shoot out into the dark in a residential neighborhood, and even more so at the police. Who were coming to help you.

    Comment by cherylc — 3:26 pm September 9, 2010 #

  12. I have to disagree with you PGS…maybe he was a good guy (or is, as it may be) and it is tragic that this happened. But he could have as easily killed a neighbor or someone from your family (or you) for that matter, if the bullets strayed a bit…as bridge to somewhere pointed out, we’ve all had bad days and maybe we’ve hit a wall, or driven too fast…but it’s not the same as picking up an AK47 and pointing at the police…it’s all very sad and tragic for the family and I hope, if he is mentally ill, he’ll get the treatment he needs. I also think it’s very lucky that no one else was hurt, police, neighbors and family included.

    Comment by onceachef — 3:58 pm September 9, 2010 #

  13. He was always sweet and kind to me, always willing to help people out. It was a complete shock when I first heard of the news. My prayers are with you guys…..

    Comment by :( — 3:59 pm September 9, 2010 #

  14. I seem to remember someone saying you can’t get AK 47s in the US…
    This guy was a danger to himself and others.
    Thanks SPD for doing what needed to be done. Too bad it turned out like this for Mr. Qualls too. He may have just been having a bad day.

    Comment by Fritz — 4:00 pm September 9, 2010 #

  15. Where was the wife when this happened, by the way?…how’s she holding up?…this has got to be awful for her and the kids.

    Comment by onceachef — 4:00 pm September 9, 2010 #

  16. Fritz,

    A lot of it is a semantic game as much as anything. AK-47, to many people, would mean a military grade rifle with the capability to fire fully automatically. This would mean firing repeatedly by holding down the trigger. This rifle, while clearly an AK type, is exceedingly unlikely to meet that description. However, without going into that detailed explanation, AK-47 is about as good a term as anything for this rifle.

    A similar distinction could be made with the rifles used by our military, except there is a better distinction semantically. If someone says AR-15, they are almost certainly referring to a semi-automatic rifle that many many civilians own. If they say M-16, they almost certainly mean the military rifle with full-auto capability. It’s just that the AK types lack this distinction.

    Comment by Jeff — 4:06 pm September 9, 2010 #

  17. @RGS, I do admire the defendants 59 year criminal free history, but every convict has to start somewhere… Some start at 14, some at 59…
    .
    It seems rather peculiar to me that nobody yet commented on the alleged (of course) key piece of evidence imho, here: – “On the kitchen table was a large amount of suspected marijuana, which appeared to have just been cultivated and was drying on the table.”
    The defendant had a lot to lose, if, allegedly, there was a pot factory in his house…

    Comment by Baba — 4:11 pm September 9, 2010 #

  18. An interesting point Baba, but I’m actually wondering why the police felt the need to mention the narcotics at all. The catalog of alcohol in the liquor cabinet seemed to escape scrutiny despite being the arguably more socially destructive intoxicant. Granted, marijuana is still illegal. But at a time when some legislatures are actually throwing around the idea of pot legalization on some levels, does anyone really think the pot had anything to do with this? I mean, beyond the fact that the combination of drugs and firearms probably does not augur well for the defendant’s overall legal position. I’m hardly an expert on marijuana. But what I do know is that the stuff hardly turns people aggressive.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 4:30 pm September 9, 2010 #

  19. I don’t believe Baba is referring to being under the influence of pot. It is the alleged appearance of an illegal business being run out of his house.

    Comment by newnative — 4:52 pm September 9, 2010 #

  20. cjboffoli, I was just intrigued by the SPD’s wording “large amount”. Was it just a legal term or a street term? Huge difference here…
    .
    On your final observation, I did not suggest the guy was smoking his product, I thought he was just very aggressively protecting his very lucrative “business”

    Comment by Baba — 4:56 pm September 9, 2010 #

  21. Unless the dope was ‘laced’ with something. Sometimes PCP. And maybe he was taking other prescription drugs we don’t know the toxicology report. He obviously was ‘chemically’ off if neighbors see a kinder side of him. This night he was clearly paranoid with all the cameras around his property and cache of guns. I guess we wouldn’t really think any of this evidence was ‘real’ unless a cop was killed though right? It’s always their fault even though they were sent here to do their job. Good job SPD glad you are ok and lives were saved.

    Comment by zzzzzz — 5:09 pm September 9, 2010 #

  22. I’m as liberal as they come but good job by the police disarming an unstable person with a gun. And the analogy with the cars doesn’t work because cars are used 99% for peaceful purposes and guns the opposite. Their main use is for violence or the neutralization of violence. Also everyone else manages not to shoot at police on a bad day, I say someone who does gets put in another category, like crazy, demented, certifiable or criminal. That action uses up all the good years…..
    And the gun question? Our gun laws are crazy. We have a disproportionate amount of gun related deaths because the gun lobby has money and power.
    I like the idea that we don’t license guns….we license ammo so that every shot taken can be traced back to the person who bought it. It would make police work a whole lot easier….
    And for the record I have a gun in my house. A pump action 12 gauge Mossburg. I got it when my neighbor rented his house to a bunch of meth addicts. I have to say that I’d rather not have it in my house, but that’s what fear does to you, it makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do……

    Comment by Blackwatch — 5:11 pm September 9, 2010 #

  23. I feel for the family. My prayers are with the family.

    Comment by =( — 5:14 pm September 9, 2010 #

  24. cjboffoli, I was just intrigued by the SPD’s wording “large amount”. Was it just a legal term or a street term? Huge difference here…
    .
    On your final observation, I did not suggest the guy was smoking his product, I thought he was just very aggressively protecting his very lucrative “business” ( it’s all allegedly of course)

    Comment by Baba — 5:33 pm September 9, 2010 #

  25. Mark, I’m going to start by saying not everyone is as they appear.
    That being said, I personally know this man and his family, and I would never in my life imagine this situation would have come about.
    Tom is a gentle, smart, kind, extremely compassionate, talented and highly intelligent man.
    Tom has raised an extremely loving, compassionate, intelligent and giving family.
    Clearly there was mental issues, feelings of helplessness, lack of reaching out.
    Who would reach out? Who would offer help?
    If Tom was unable to ask for help or seek it for himself then clearly he had already gotten to a point of feeling helpless.
    No one threatens to end their life unless they are clearly very ill and reaching out for help.
    Many are hurt by this tragic situation including Tom’s friends, family members and his surrounding community members, neighbors who think highly of him.
    Imagine the pain Tom must have been feeling in the days, weeks, months leading up to such desperation and isolation.
    The question we all need to be asking is how can we prevent a situation like this BEFORE it escalates and becomes tragic?

    This could happen to ANY one of us.
    As a community we all need to take a look at our ability to NOT get so detached from one another and to remain close with our communities.
    Times are tough and it is times like this that remind us that we are all vulnerable.
    If you lose your sense of community as an individual what have you got left?
    Every one needs to feel they belong to a community. It takes a village, right?

    My heart goes out to Tom and his family as they are about to embark on a most horrific journey.
    I pray proper help will be found for Tom and for his beautiful family so that healing these deep wounds can begin.
    This is a very truly sad and tragic situation.

    Comment by R — 6:14 pm September 9, 2010 #

  26. He had a pot factory in his house? Lucrative business? Did they mention large amounts of money on hand? Did they mention a whole operation set up for a pot factory? Perhaps he just likes to smoke pot, hell, I’m sure there are several people who read and write on this blog that do it daily. And no, your sarcasm, which is the lowest form of wit, was not lost on me when you constantly mention it’s all alleged. It seems to me he gets less time for the pot he had on hand than shooting a weapon at police officers. He has no criminal record so even if caught with pot it’s not likely he’d have gotten anywhere near the time he could possibly get now.

    I agree with cjboffoli. I find it interesting they mentioned it at all. Just like I thought it was interesting all they did yesterday was show some weapons before waiting another day to charge and offer the written transcripts. I understand that prosecutor was trying to explain why they wanted such a high bond. I’m not saying the SPD didn’t do what they thought was best at the time but you can’t say that they aren’t spinning some PR either right now. Public opinion was not positive after the knife shooting.

    Comment by Just Here — 6:58 pm September 9, 2010 #

  27. I wish I knew what to say. I feel really bad for his family – mental illness is not a joke. Nor is speculating on his motivations for doing what he did.

    Comment by Amanda — 7:12 pm September 9, 2010 #

  28. JH – to be clear, no charges have been filed in connection with the alleged ‘large’ quantity of marijuana mentioned in the charging documents.
    .
    Also re: timeline, I was told this morning that the charges actually were filed yesterday afternoon. For all I know, the filing may have come before the weapons photos were released. But the charges were not announced in the prosecutor’s 5:45 pm online update of notable cases, nor were they on the online court dockets that we checked last night – first hint I had was when I checked with the police media unit asking when the report would be available, and they told me they understood that charges had been filed yesterday – I then pinged the PAO and a couple hours later, they sent the paperwork to us (other media published it as the day went on, too) – fwiw, TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:17 pm September 9, 2010 #

  29. I just want to say that NOONE on here has heard anything but the cops side of the story. I have known Tom my whole life and as a few others have said , he is a loving , intelligent , compassionate and good man. I myself find it odd and fishy that it took this long for the cops to say that he fired on them before they fired on him. Why wouldn’t they have said that from the very beginning ? So I think all of you that are quick to judge someone without both sides of the story need to stop your speculating and hold your tongues. We love you Tom and you are in our prayers everyday, stay strong, there are alot of us pulling for you man. ONE LOVE.

    Comment by Familia — 8:32 pm September 9, 2010 #

  30. Praying for the Qualls family. Love his daughter, she was a friend of mine growing up and is truly a gem. So sorry she and the rest of his family had to go through this ordeal and I’m really glad that Thomas is healing up. Also thankful that nobody else was hurt and that the police did not fatally wound Thomas. Good work SPD, I appreciate you risking your lives for our peace.

    Comment by family friend — 10:50 pm September 9, 2010 #

  31. Sometimes, it seems almost painful to read the comments from some people. Blackwatch, guns do not kill people. People kill people. I am sure you have heard this before.
    .
    The vast majority, probably in the 99% range of people who own guns do not commit a crime with a gun. Countries without a death penalty do not see the murder or crime rate we do. Nobody knows why this guy did what he did. Heck, now he is saying he doesn’t remember anything… I am sure he has talked to his lawyers.
    .
    The gun didn’t do it. Try to draw your deduction some other way.

    Comment by EyeLiveInWS — 11:18 pm September 9, 2010 #

  32. Totally agree with you “R” …. we all need to reach out to our family, friends, neighbors and pay attention to their hurts. These are tough times for lots of people. Need to let people know we really do care about them.
    And for those of you who say “well, that is no excuse to shoot up the neighborhood and police!” YOU ARE RIGHT! But maybe one of us can be the one to help someone before it gets to this “place”.

    Comment by Fellow Citizen — 5:37 am September 10, 2010 #

  33. My heart goes out to this family for sure, it does sound like something went south in a hurry for them. However – I take issue with: why the “cops even had to mention” the marijuana….

    Officers, when making their reports, are to include all details. Illegal ANYTHING would have to be noted. As for the “amount” – that would have been taken care of in the detail portion of the report as it was put into evidence. The quoted “large amount” was probably in the narrative, which is in fact what it is called – a narrative.

    Comment by sue — 8:50 am September 10, 2010 #

  34. thanks you SPD

    Comment by mj — 8:50 am September 10, 2010 #

  35. WSB’s hyper-local perspective and the perspective offered by comments here have changed the way I thought about this event. My initial reaction in this thread emphasized my anger at the suspect. But hearing the family and friends of the family of the accused has made me consider how horrible their situation is right now. When a family member does something like this, it begins to define the entire family and it necessary affects their lives in many terrible, terrible ways. And regardless of what you feel about the suspect, the family isn’t guilty of anything; and, frankly, Mr. Qualls has not been tried or convicted yet, so we should be cautious about what we say about him. (Again, if the allegations in the police report about him shooting are true, then he should be convicted; but even if he is, his family deserves support through this terrible, terrible time for them.)

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 10:03 am September 10, 2010 #

  36. Glad to hear from so many people who (like myself) know this man and his family personally – unlike so many who speculate here and other boards. My experiences with the Qualls family match up with yours; sweet, loving, intelligent people. It’s a shock that this situation occurred, and it’s not one of those “coulda seen it coming” situations.

    Much love to T, S, L & L Q.

    Comment by Worried — 10:26 am September 10, 2010 #

  37. Thanks to WSB for transcribing the charging documents – are those available online for anyone to see?

    Comment by omar — 10:37 am September 10, 2010 #

  38. It’s public record. Usually within a couple days of filing, you can download them from the county’s Electronic Court Records system, which requires an account and a nominal fee per page, but you need the case number, which is available in some other public spots too. I’m not sure about the procedure for going down to the courthouse and reading in person – since we do almost everything online (until there’s a court hearing to sit in and cover!)
    .
    Bottom line though, there’s no easy direct link I can give you – media deals with the office’s longtime media liaison and since I asked him if charges had been filed, he replied with the docs … TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:39 am September 10, 2010 #

  39. Some folks on this board can’t stop to amuse me. Yes, I do like a good conspiracy theory now and then myself, but come on, people!!! —if the allegations in the police report about him shooting are true—. How can SPD make this kind of stuff up? This is a pretty high profile case. What country do we all live in? Or do you think total idiots work at SPD or law inforcement in general?
    .
    I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, but, please, stop being ridiculous.
    .
    Some of you make it sound like he just FaЯted three times from his back porch and was just getting ready to make a freshly cultivated salad on his kitchen table…
    Please, get real!

    Comment by Baba — 3:57 pm September 10, 2010 #

  40. There is another blooper that went unnoticed by WSB’s armchair detectives…
    .
    … he walked outside onto a deck, which was about eight feet above the surface of the back yard.—
    When you are shooting 8 feet up, what are the most probable spots in the human (mans) body to hit?
    B@@ls, stomach and head…
    One Cop got him right in the middle, and trust me, that is not an easy position to shoot from.

    Comment by Baba — 5:34 pm September 10, 2010 #

  41. Baba … You read different then most! NO ONE made it sound like anyone just “FARTED” … yes,it is a serious thing NO ONE said it wasn’t!!! Do you know the man … if not don’t be his “judge” … let the courts do that! And the Courts will deal with it! No one is dismissing the “awfulness” of the event!

    Comment by Fellow Citizen — 6:09 pm September 10, 2010 #

  42. @PGS. SPD officers have family and friends too remember. Even if this guy had a bad day, no excuses for brandishing a weapon and firing at police officers. None. No excuses for owning that many weapons. Thank goodness this wasn’t any more tragic than it already is. Thank you SPD.

    Comment by MK — 9:04 pm September 10, 2010 #

  43. Hmmm, hope is expressed that “if he is mentally ill, he’ll get the treatment he needs.”

    Sadly, hope is about all the ementally ill have. We’ve abandoned the mentally ill and we seem to be clueless about their needs. A broken arm? Easy, let’s go to the emergency room. Bi-Polar disorder? Yikes! Don’t ever darken my doorway again.

    We’re still such primitives.

    Comment by jim — 11:10 pm September 10, 2010 #

  44. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Love has a way about it, truly a duel edged sword.

    Comment by RJBT — 3:53 am September 11, 2010 #

  45. I’m concerned that 3 armed officers, responding to a call regarding an armed and suicidal person, are not only fired upon but, when returning fire, are only able to hit him once – in the stomach. How about some time at the firing range, officers? My goodness, it’s a wonder that one of the officers wasn’t killed. Or an innocent bystander.

    Also, where did the shots go that didn’t hit the guy? That’s a really crowded housing area.

    Comment by Alkira — 2:24 pm September 12, 2010 #

  46. I appreciated your comments, R. Thank you.

    It’s really easy to label people. Mental illness is a term only and I think it is a mistake to use that as a way to distance the situation. It doesn’t help anyone to just assign blame or one dimensional reasoning to the situation. I think we are all required to be more open hearted (as corny as that sounds), and less judgmental. Being compassionate towards someone and holding them accountable for their heinous actions are NOT mutually exclusive modes of being.

    My sincere condolences to all involved.

    Comment by ln8r — 11:20 pm September 12, 2010 #

  47. To Alkira and other WSB posters/ armchair detectives. I don’t think I was clear in my above comment.
    .
    The defendant was shooting at officers from his back yard deck that was/is 8 feet from the ground, which, I suppose, must have at least 36″ hand rail (per DPD’s building code) on top of it… The cop that shot defendant from that difficult position in the stomach was either a great shooter or just got lucky. The rest of the bullets probably did hit the rail or back of the, presumably empty, house of the defendant. So, can you please stop all this bullets flying all over the neighborhood and SPD needing more target practice nonsense.

    Comment by Baba — 5:53 pm September 13, 2010 #

  48. I grew up with tom’s son and daughter. I just want to say tom is a great man. He and his wife are two people that any of us kids could talk to. I know he pulled me through some rough times, by being a good man with a great heart. I wish we could have been there for him in his time of need.
    I hope the Qualls family heals well

    Comment by lp — 3:45 pm September 17, 2010 #

  49. Oh yes, Tom is an accomplished marksman, as I have been target shooting many times with him and others. If he missed, he did so on purpose or he didn’t have a clean shot. I assume the former….I never heard him profess any anger toward police (though he had plenty of anger toward many people close to him)…..it’s clear to me he was trying to commit “suicide-by-cop.”

    A tortured soul…

    Comment by ex-friend — 12:07 am September 23, 2010 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^