Cowlitz Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Lower Columbia SWAT takes Reckless Shooter into Custody - 12/03/16

Castle Rock, WA-Lower Columbia SWAT was called after a Castle Rock man fired numerous rounds out of his home shortly after midnight Saturday.

46 year old Thomas Mann was arrested for Reckless Endangerment after deputies were called to a report of gunfire at approximately 12:10 a.m. When the first deputy arrived on scene he heard gunfire coming from a residence in the 400 block of Studebaker Road, Spur 2. As the deputy approached the residence the gunfire erupted right above him. The deputy announced his presence and ordered the suspect to disarm and come out. The demands were met with a refusal and more gunfire. The deputy requested additional assistance.

Additional deputies responded as did SWAT. Attempts to contact him by phone or public address were unsuccessful. Nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as SWAT deployed.

After a couple of hours, Mann peacefully surrendered. He gave no explanation for his behavior and did not appear to be otherwise impaired.

He was transported to the county jail and booked.

Det C Robinson seated, Pamquist standing
Det C Robinson seated, Pamquist standing
Woodland, Wa Homicide UPDATE #6 Victim Photo + Bio (Photo) - 11/25/16

Woodland Wa - Homicide Update #6 - 11-25-16 1:00 p.m.

The Cowlitz County Sheriff's office is releasing a photo of Donald "Donny" W. Howard (62yrs) who was murdered last Tuesday.

"Donny" Howard was known to frequently fish on the Lewis River near the hatchery. He would go there very early in the morning and was known to sell his home-made lead fishing weights. He would often pick up cans and trash on the river and alongside the road as well. He usually drove a dark colored Ford Ranger pickup truck that had a canopy. Donny was 5'6" and 300lbs (Photo Attached).

We are releasing this information in hopes that anyone who had contact with him between Saturday November 19th and early Tuesday November 22nd will call the Sheriff's Office and leave a message for Sgt. Brad Thurman at 360-577-3092.

It is important for the media to (please) advise the public that they can remain anonymous by using their smart phones and text a tip using the "TIP411" APP on their smart phone, and make it attention to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office. OR, they can also send the tip directly to us without the APP by sending a text to 847411 and listing "CCSOTIP" in the subject line.
(DOL Photo will also be attached).

(CCD Rosenzweig available by phone and email).
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#5:11-24-16 1:00 a.m. Detectives concluded their examination at the scene shortly after midnight. They also attended the autopsy and collected additional evidence at that time. The Coroner has identified the victim as Donald William Howard, 62 years of age. Mr. Howard resided at the residence where the homicide took place.

CCD Rosenzweig states "We have received several tips from the public and we are grateful that people have contacted us. We are encouraging the public to contact Sgt. Brad Thurman at 360-577-3092 especially if anyone had seen or had contact with Mr. Howard on Sunday or Monday. This case is very active and we will continue to work on this with as much resources as are available. The public can also provide tips anonymously by using the "TIP411" APP on their smart phone and make the text attention to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office".

CCD Rosenzweig will not be available for contact until after 10am on Thursday. we will not be providing media release unless new important information develops.
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11-23-16 3:30p.m. Investigators are still on scene with the state crime lab. There is an autopsy schedules for later tonight, which detectives will attend. It will be up to the coroner to determine what will be released relating to the ID of the victim and cause and manner of death.

We continue to receive very helpful tips from the public and we really need for the media to stress the importance of helping the public know that they can provide tips anonymously by using their smart phones and the "TIP411" app and make it attention to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office.

CCD Rosenzweig

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#3 11-22-16 10:30p

The victim has been turned over to the Cowlitz County Coroner. (The date and time for an autopsy is not firmed up yet but will be soon.)

Detectives are still on scene but will be taking a break tonight. Other deputies will provide security throughout the night; and detectives will be on scene tomorrow most of the day.

We appreciate the information that the public as provided so far and we encourage anyone who has information related to this case that has not talked with a detective to leave a message for Detective Sergeant Brad Thurman at the Sheriff's Office at 360-577-3092.
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Previous update #2 below....

Attached picture of lead Cowlitz Sheriff detective Cory Robinson (seated) and Woodland detective Dustin Palmquist reviewing pictures taken from the scene...

Cowlitz Sheriff, Woodland Police and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab team continue to process the scene; which includes examining, collecting and preserving evidence. They are also in the process of interview neighbors and other people who have information that may be related to the investigation.

At this point we can confirm that there is a deceased male in the house. There was a fire that was intentionally set in the house that the fire department quickly extinguished. There are other circumstaances about this case that cause detectives to believe this is a homicide and we are treating the case as such.

We are not releasing the name of the victim, the cause of death, or very many details as we are still very early in to this investigation.

We understand that there is an interest to know details surrounding the death of the victim but we do not want to release details that would compromise the investigation.

We want to stress that it is very important for anyone who has any information that may relate to this case to call Detective Sergeant Brad Thurman and leave a message. He can be reached at 360-577-3092.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can do so by using a smart phone app called "tip411". Tipsters need to look for the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office and send the tip to us using this "app". The service makes the tipster completely anonymous to us.

CCD Rosenzweig has been available by phone and will continue to be available to the media to answer and many questions as possible. (phone number below).

a16-3433_B.jpg
a16-3433_B.jpg
Cowlitz Sheriff Deputies arrest 8 for stealing over 50 firearms: 440 guns seized. (Photo) - 11/16/16

Cowlitz County, WA -- November 16th 106: Sheriff Deputies have arrested 8 suspects for stealing and or possessing over 50 firearms, many of the firearms are believed to be fully automatic. Deputies believe they have recovered all of the stolen firearms. The suspects sold some of the firearms; some were pawned, and some were destroyed by the suspects. (We do not know why). Other items were also stolen: Watches, Knives, etc.

This is an active investigation and as a result the Sheriff's Office is not identifying the victim, nor the exact location where the guns were stored; to do so would hamper the investigation. The Sheriff's Office is asking if the media learns of the location or the victim's name, that they not publicize this information at this time until more suspects can be located and more searches can be conducted for the stolen firearm. There is much more work that needs to take place on this investigation.

During the investigation Deputy Riley McNeal learned that the victim, who is in his eighties, had previous felony convictions and as a result, was prohibited from possessing the firearms legally. Eight deputies spent all day removing close to 400 firearms from the property that had not been stolen, but were unlawful to possess by the victim. Charges against the victim for illegal possession of the firearms are being considered. Some of the firearms appear to be fully automatic. Some if the firearms appear to be home made.

We do not know why the victim had this extensive of a collection, but it appears it was simply that -- a collection. There is no information that suggests the victim had any plans for criminal use of the firearms.

Arrested/Booked/Charges:

1) Skylar Smith, 19yrs, Yelm, Burglary, Trafficking of stolen property, Theft of Firearm
2)) Justin C. Gillman, 19yrs Longview, Burglary, Theft of Firearm, Trafficking Stolen Property.
3) Mycah U. Mendoza, Kelso, 18yrs, Burglary, Theft of Firearm.
4) Kyle M. Lopez, 17 years, Kelso, Burglary and Theft of Firearm.
5) Nicholas A Bradley, Kelso, 15yrs, Burglary and Theft of Firearm
6)) Brent a. Bradley, (Brother of Nicholas) Kelso, 16yrs, Kelso, Burglary and Theft of Firearm
7) Rodney Milliman, 16yrs, Longview: Charges: Burglary (Felony) and Trafficking in Stolen Property.
8) William Justin Milliman (brother of Rodney), 17yrs : Burglary and Theft of Firearm.

We are releasing two pictures. These are pics of the firearms that were taken from the owner. Pictures of the firearms that were stolen and then recovered from the suspects are not available at this time. We are not releasing more pictures, please do not ask. We are trying to focus our time on continuing the investigation of this case.

All suspects 18 or more were booked in the Cowlitz County Jail. Call the jail for information regarding their court appearance.

There may be more arrests in the case.

Anyone who has any information about this case is encouraged to call and leave a message for Deputy Riley McNeal who is the lead investigator on the case.

CCD Charlie Rosenzweig will be available for questions/email/interviews between 10am and 1pm tomorrow (Thursday)

We will not make the firearms available for viewing by the media, Sorry.

Attached Media Files: a16-3433_B.jpg , A16-3433_A.jpg