The suspect in the shooting of a Mount Vernon, Washington police officer has a lengthy criminal record and was previously called a “predator” by police.
Ernesto Lee Rivas, 44, was identified as the gunman accused of shooting the 61-year-old police officer in the head on December 15, said The Seattle Times.
The officer is in critical condition, said the newspaper, which added that Rivas had previously struck a plea deal that allowed him to avoid a life sentence for other crimes.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rivas Has an Extensive Criminal History
According to The Seattle Times, Rivas’ criminal history “stretches back to the early 1990s…In 1997, he was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and second-degree theft in Yakima County Superior Court. Rivas pleaded guilty to unlawful firearm possession in 2011.”
In 1998, Rivas received 15 years imprisonment “for his part in the abduction and interrogation of four people he believed stole a woman’s necklace,” the newspaper said, citing The Yakima Herald-Republic.
Fox News said Rivas has eight felonies on his record, including weapons charges.
2. The Officer Was Responding to a Report of a Shooting Inside a Home
Rivas allegedly shot the officer in the head, a shooting that culminated in an hours-long standoff, according to Fox News.
Fox said police contend the “shooter barricaded himself in a house and fired at police… Hostage negotiators spent several hours communicating with him.” Two other people were also arrested at the scene.
Authorities said the officer was responding to a report of a shooting inside the home when the suspect allegedly fired at officers who were outside. The victim in that first shooting suffered only a graze wound, police said, according to KOMO News.
The standoff unfolded over a seven-hour time period, said KOMO News.
3. Rivas Is Being Held on $1 Million Bail & Faces Life in Prison If Convicted
A prosecutor said the crime was allegedly Rivas’ third strike. That means he could face life in prison if he’s charged with attempted murder of the police officer and convicted. The third strike law mandates an automatic life term upon conviction, a prosecutor said.
Rivas made an initial court appearance on December 16 on a first-degree attempted murder charge.
4. The Officer Is in Critical Condition & Is a Veteran on the Force
The officer – who has not yet been named – survived the shooting but was in critical condition on December 16.
The officer was shot in the head and is being treated at a Seattle hospital.
The officer has been on the force for more than 30 years, said KOMO News.
5. Rivas Was the Subject of a Domestic Violence Protective Order Just Last Week
Fox News said that a domestic violence protective order was filed against Rivas last week. The mother of his child accused him of “stalking at work,” according to the network.