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Shooting Report

Posted on 27th April 2011 at 08:40

The Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office is out with its report on the fatal shooting of William Wayne Rowton at his South Kelso home early on the morning of March 8th, saying that Longview Police Officer Jeremy Johnson was justified in that shooting. The Daily News has the story on the report; Johnson was acting as a member of Lower Columbia SWAT at the time of the shooting, responding to Rowton’s home on South Third Avenue in the course of an armed standoff. Rowton had been having personal issues related to his marital relationship, and barricaded himself in his home after allowing several family members to leave. Law enforcement was able to make contact with Rowton, and tried to talk him out. just before 3 am, Rowton reportedly said he was coming out, but “not in a good way.” A few minutes later, police say Rowton stuck a .44 magnum pistol out of the doorway, in the direction of Johnson’s position. Johnson fired a single rifle round, hitting Rowton in the head. Other SWAT members then rushed the scene, where they found Rowton with the pistol, a cell phone, and a rifle slung around his shoulder. In its report, the Prosecutor’s office says that the threat posed by Rowton justified Officer Johnson’s use of force, and they say he has no criminal liability in the case.