UPDATE Aug. 16, 2018 --
Thanks to donations from friends of the victim, Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is now offering an $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman who shot a woman during a home invasion robbery near Pe Ell on the night of July 12th. "They want to generate more tips and certainly the more money generally generates more tips. They also feel extremely sad in this situation. Should have never happened so they want to speed it up. They want to help us get to the bottom of this," said Ret. Det. Myrle Carner with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.
If you have any information to help Pacific County Sheriff's detectives identify the suspect, you can remain anonymous. Use the P3 Tips App on your smart phone to submit the info or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The victim is recovering and has had her stitches taken out.
Near PE ELL, Wash. July 26, 2018 --
Home invasions are extremely rare in Pacific County.
“We don’t get very many of these types of cases, especially in the area where we’re at. It’s very rural, very secluded, so maybe one time a year, if that,” Pacific County Sheriff's Detective Ryan Tully said.
That’s one reason why what happened to one woman two weeks ago is so unusual. There's also the bizarre nature of how the break-in unfolded.
Q13 News is withholding the victim's last name for her safety, but Nicole says she was asleep on July 12 in her home west of Pe Ell when she heard a huge crash around 1:15 a.m.
She jumped out of bed to investigate and came face to face with an armed intruder about 5-foot-11 wearing a hat, goggles or glasses, and a bandana covering the bottom part of his face.
"When I first got to that landing and made eye contact with him and saw that gun at my face and just saw how he was disguised, no one wakes up and expects to see that,” said Nicole.
She immediately dropped down and covered her head with both arms.
“Started begging for him not to shoot,” said Nicole.
Up to that point, the suspect had not uttered a single word.
"It was like 30 seconds later, he just shot me and I felt a sharp pain in my arm,” said Nicole.
The bullet shattered the bone in multiple places.
Nicole says she offered him cash and asked him to leave her alone, saying she had three kids who needed her. When he asked her to go downstairs, she heard his voice for the first time. He was using a device to disguise it.
"It has to be someone I know,” said Nicole.
Her friend was staying downstairs and came to check on her when she heard the gunshot. Nicole ordered her back into the bedroom. She says he never paid any attention to her friend and didn’t seem concerned about her.
She gave the intruder some money and pleaded with him to leave.
“As soon as he turned his head to turn around," she said, "I like jumped down behind the island and I hid and then I heard him walk through the door cause I heard more glass crack on the outside and he said, ‘Have a good night, hon.'"
Investigators think Nicole was targeted and that it wasn’t a random home invasion. The gunman had to know that Nicole’s boyfriend and kids weren’t there that night. The suspect also knew the layout of the home and that her German Shepherd was away at training.
“It's really shocking. It kind of strikes fear into the community,” Tully said.
He’s asking the public to come forward with any information on who might have wanted to hurt Nicole.
"My concerns are that there are people that probably, other than the suspect, that probably know what happened and that they're not coming forward to help us investigate,” Tully said.
Since the break-in, Nicole and her family have upgraded their security and added cameras. Life is slowly getting back to normal. She hopes to have her stitches removed and to start therapy.
"I want to find the person and put 'em away so I can start work on my emotional healing. I think that's gonna be the hardest part,” said Nicole.
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who can help detectives solve this case. If you have any information on who was involved or can provide any leads, you can remain anonymous by submitting a tip using the P3 Tips App on your phone or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
You can also go to www.P3Tips.com to provide the information anonymously.