Man, 87, held in shooting says facility’s director bullied him

The 87-year-old man who shot an employee at a Stanwood assisted-living facility said he had been bullied by the employee, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Arthur Hames, a resident at Josephine Sunset Home, is accused of shooting a supervisor at the home around 3 p.m. Monday. He is being held at the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail for investigation of first-degree assault with a weapon.

The victim, identified in court papers as Roger Holbrook, 57, of Mount Vernon, was shot in the abdomen and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was released Tuesday, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Josephine Sunset CEO Terry Robertson said Holbrook is recovering at home. “It was very traumatic for him,” Robertson said. “He’s very happy to be alive today.”

According to an affidavit of probable cause outlining the police case, Hames walked into Holbrook’s office and said, “I have something for you.” He then pulled out a pistol and fired twice, the affidavit alleges.

The first bullet missed, but the second struck Holbrook in the stomach, the affidavit said.

The two men then fought over the gun, and Hames was subdued by other staff members until police arrived, the affidavit says.

Hames told detectives he shot Holbrook and had then planned to kill himself, according to the affidavit. He told investigators he had been bullied by Holbrook over several months, the court papers said.

Investigators said that Hames ” … openly expressed his anger toward Holbrook and his desire to kill him for perceived wrongs and minor physical abuse,” court papers said.

Hames was listed as 86 in initial police reports. Court records indicate he is 87.

The state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) started investigating the circumstances of the shooting Tuesday morning, said agency spokeswoman Kathy Spears. DSHS oversees licensing for assisted-living centers.

“We’ll go in and interview residents and staff. We’ll look through their assessment files and review the entire facility to see if there were any policy violations or procedures that weren’t followed,” Spears said.

Spears said most assisted-living facilities do not allow firearms. Robertson, the Josephine Sunset CEO, told The Associated Press handguns are banned at the facility and accusations of abuse are baseless.

Josephine Sunset is a nonprofit social ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that includes a 160-bed nursing home, 57-bed assisted-living home and a day care for 250 children, Robertson said.

Josephine has been operating in Stanwood for more than 100 years and has 300 workers.

The facility has not had any complaints in the past year about abuse, according to Linda Moss, district administrator for DSHS in Arlington.