BREMERTON, Wash. - Police and a SWAT team arrested a Bremerton man who threatened the City Mayor, the City Prosecutor and threatened to shoot up a mental health center after a three-hour standoff Thursday night.
According to Bremerton Police Department (BPD), Kitsap County Deputies were dispatched to Kitsap Mental Health (KMH) when 44-year-old Joseph Beckman called KMH staff, threatening to use a rifle to shoot people on campus. KMH went into lockdown, but it was determined that he was not actually there. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) then advised probable cause to arrest him for harassment.
After the threats at KMH, authorities say Beckman threatened the city mayor and the city prosecutor. BPD says he called the mayor’s office, and left a voicemail threatening "bloodshed" and "violence" if the mayor failed to intervene in his pending criminal charges. In the voicemail, he also threatened to go to the mayor’s home. From this, BPD investigators developed probable cause to arrest Beckman for two counts of intimidation of a public servant.
According to BPD’s press release, before Thursday’s threats, Beckman had an arrest warrant for two earlier charges; domestic violence assault in the third degree, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree. It was believed that the firearm was a 22 caliber semi-automatic rifle that he purchased sometime in February.
Bremerton Officers called Beckman to try to deescalate the situation, however, he threatened to shoot through the walls of his home if police were on his property.
At around 8:00 p.m., BPD officers and a KCSO SWAT team arrived at Beckman's home near the Parkwood Terrace Apartments on Callahan Dr. and Fir Ave. to conduct a search warrant. According to BPD, the purpose of the search warrant was to secure the rifle as evidence to arrest him for his threats.
Authorities say Beckman was inside his home and armed while officers negotiated with him. After some time, the SWAT team threw tear gas to subdue him, but he resisted the effects by wearing a gas mask.
At around 11:00 p.m., Beckman finally started to feel the effects of the tear gas, and authorities were able to take him into custody. No injuries were reported.
According to the BPD, Beckman was booked into the Kitsap County Jail for two counts of intimidation of a public servant, one count of harassment and his other outstanding arrest warrants. His bail has been set at $250,000.
This is a developing story.