Four charged in Elma gas station shooting


Four people have been arrested over a “show of force” that led to a shooting at an Elma gas station Saturday and sent a man to the hospital in serious condition.

Gordon J. Harper, 39, of Satsop is charged with first-degree assault, accused of shooting a 26-year-old homeless man with a .22-caliber pistol. Rhonda G. Harris, 48, of Satsop and Anna M. Kohler, 27, of Winlock are both charged with second-degree assault for allegedly attacking the man’s companion with baseball bats.

According to police interviews, the three were trying to help Ricky D. Sizemore, 53, of Elma collect money he had lent the man. Sizemore is also charged with first-degree assault.

Police received calls about people shooting paintballs at each other at about 2 p.m. after one broke the window of the gas station. Elma Police responded, assisted in the investigation by Montesano and Hoquiam police as well as the Sheriff’s Office.

“With their assistance, we were able to identify these people as the people involved and responsible for several assaults that occurred at the Shell,” Elma Police Chief Jeff Troumbley said.

Sizemore allegedly told police he had known the man for two months, and had lent him $700. Court documents say he also told police the man had sold him a substance he claimed was methamphetamine, but Sizemore “later tried to consume the substance and found that it was not methamphetamine.”

Sizemore had apparently been trying to locate the man and tracked him to the Shell Station on 3rd Street in Elma. He allegedly shot the woman accompanying him with a paintball gun, and Harris and Kohler are accused of beating her with baseball bats.

“Sizemore related that he saw (the man) get out of the passenger side of the vehicle and begin shooting his paintball gun at (the man), who appeared to have a black hand gun in his hand. As it turned out, after investigation, it is believed that this was an airsoft gun,” court documents stated.

At that point, Sizemore claims he heard gunshots.

According to prosecutors, security video from the gas station shows Harper approach the man’s truck, look inside, then walk off camera. He returns moments later with a hand gun and fires into the vehicle at the man.

Sizemore allegedly told police he didn’t know the man or intend to kill him, but intended to make a “show of force.” He said he didn’t know Harper had a gun. Investigators later tracked Harper to a trailer in the Satsop area, where they also recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the assault.

The man was shot in the abdomen and police report he’s in stable condition, but a more precise condition was unavailable because he requested his personal information remain private.

All four suspects are held in Grays Harbor County Jail, Sizemore with $250,000 bail, Harper with $500,000, Harris with $25,000 and Kohler with $50,000.