Blood In Lewis County Hotel Room Leads To Officer Involved Shooting
A 55 year old Yakima man exchanges gun fire with police -- then takes his own life.
It all started with blood in a Lewis County hotel room where the man had been staying.
Cheri Campbell sat and waited as investigators combed through a scene in her neighborhood that ended in bloodshed.
"I just heard gunshots that went bang-bang-bang in a very fast succession," said Campbell.
Yakima Police say they were contacted by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office around 10 this morning.
Cleaning staff at a local hotel there found blood in the room of 55-year-old Joseph Ricard of Yakima, who had checked out some time earlier.
Police then went to Ricard's mother's home--where he was staying--- on the 1000 block of North 34th Avenue around 10:30 to make sure he was ok.
"Upon arrival, they did locate an individual in the backyard who was armed with a weapon. There were shots fired by both the officer and the individual they were contacting," said Captain Rod Light.
Police say, in an unexpected turn after exchanging fire with police, Ricard turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger.
Ricard's mother was at the house during the incident, but was removed by police a short time later.
Investigators were at the scene for nearly four hours, while neighbors sat around in disbelief that something so tragic would happen so close to home.
Neighbors tell us Ricard hadn't been staying with his mom for long, and none told us they knew him well.
Today's incident however, did leave folks here shaken
"Anything can happen in any neighborhood. You don't want it to be in your neighborhood, but sometimes that's what happens. And it's just... Kind of unbelievable," said Campbell.
Ricard was not wanted, and there has been no determination as of yet whose blood was found in the Lewis County hotel room and how it got there.
The Yakima County Coroner's Office says it will be conducting an autopsy on Ricard's body on Friday to look for any further clues.