Investigators: North Bend intruder was drunk, high on drugs

Investigators: North Bend intruder was drunk, high on drugs
NORTH BEND, Wash. -- The intruder who was fatally shot after smashing his way into a home on Friday was drunk and high on cocaine, Interim King County Sheriff Steve Strachan said.

Family members identified the man as Joshua Henderson.

The incident unfolded at about 11:40 p.m. in the 300 block of SE Fifth St.

"The young man involved - the suspect - apparently was out drinking with some friends," Strachan said. "He was getting combative, getting loud and starting to get into fights with people. And at some point, they dropped him off."

Left alone and on foot, the man began roaming around the neighborhood and causing trouble, Strachan said. He reportedly banged on the walls and the doors of area homes, prompting area residents to call sheriff's deputies.

As officers searched the neighborhood for the suspect, they heard a loud crash at a home down the street. At the same time, they received a 911 call from the owner of the home, saying that someone had broken in.

The homeowner told deputies that he and his girlfriend heard the intruder smash his way into their home by throwing a propane tank through the rear sliding glass door.

As the couple retreated to another room, they could hear the intruder making his way through the house, trashing it and breaking things.

"The resident kept shouting at him, 'Leave my house! I have a gun! Get out of my house! I don't want to shoot you!' and words to that effect. The last thing he wanted to do was use force; all he wanted was (for) him to leave the house," Strachan said.

But instead of leaving, the intruder went toward the voice of the homeowner, "saying things like, 'I'm going to mess you up,'" including a reference to killing, said the interim sheriff.

With one swift kick, the intruder knocked down the locked door to the bedroom where the homeowner was hiding in darkness, Strachan said. The homeowner opened fire, hitting the intruder.

"Once the shots were fired, nobody really knew what was happening. The homeowner just sort of stopped, because he didn't know what to do. He didn't want to go check what had happened; he didn't want to move," Strachan said.

Deputies entered the home and found the man dead on the bedroom floor.

The homeowner and his girlfriend were uninjured. They told deputies they didn't know the intruder and had never seen him before.

“They’re devastated,” said Strachan. “Their lives have been turned upside down.”

Strachan said investigators are awaiting results of the toxicology report, but they have received information that indicates the intruder had been drinking heavily and using cocaine earlier in the evening. Detectives are also looking into the man’s reported struggle with mental illness in the past.

“All of those things seem consistent with his behavior,” said Strachan.