(ARLINGTON — HeraldNet) — The man was lying on his stomach in the grass under a fir tree. He cradled a .22-caliber Ruger semi-automatic rifle equipped with a scope, boxes of ammunition at his side.
The day of the shootout on Jim Creek Road was sunny and warm.
The road meets Highway 530, northeast of Arlington, and runs nearly nine miles southeast to Jim Creek Naval Radio Station.
It’s the kind of place where people live when they want land more than they want neighbors. Dogs roam. Horses graze.
In early 2012, Robert Endrizzi joined them, moving into a blue rambler on eight acres. On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, he began shooting at his new neighbors from a sniper nest he’d fashioned in his yard.
It was high ground, where he could see passing cars and watch the massive police response. It took officers hours to find him in the brush. When they did, they had no choice but to shoot him dead.
Nearly two years later, there are few answers about what prompted the 60-year-old Army veteran with mental health problems to do what he did that day.Last fall, a 750-page police investigation became public record.
The report takes a carefully detailed look at the crime. It counts bullets. It measures distances. It shares what witnesses saw and heard, and what books were at Endrizzi’s bedside.For all its work, the report doesn’t say why a man’s life unraveled, or why he kept pulling the trigger as police bullets drew closer and closer to his hiding place.
Robert Endrizzi moved to Jim Creek Road that January. He wanted to be closer to his parents in Mount Vernon. He’d lived in Kent until he and his wife, Renee, separated in 2011. Renee Endrizzi, who had a history of heart problems, died in May 2012. She was 59.
For decades, Endrizzi had wrestled with depression and substance abuse. At one point, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.Endrizzi’s adult son told deputies he believed his father likely started shooting to draw police. His father had attempted suicide before. The first 911 call came about 1:30 p.m.A man said he was shot in the leg as he walked down his driveway to see what was happening after he heard gunfire in his neighborhood along Jim Creek Road.
He believed the shooter was aiming at him, and not accidentally.
Snohomish County sheriff’s Sgt. Rob Martin was the first police officer on scene, arriving in 11 minutes, followed by three other deputies.They knew they had to rescue the man who’d been shot. They strapped old bulletproof vests to their patrol cars for extra shielding.“We don’t know what anything looks like, and we have to go in there,” he said.
They took the victim and his family, including two small children, and drove them out of harm’s way.