OKANOGAN – A Havillah area man shot after allegedly opening fire on Okanogan County Deputies investigating a domestic dispute has been released from the hospital and charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
James Joel Landis, 61, was shot in the hip by Sgt. Tracy Harrison after Landis was said to have fired on Harrison and fellow officer Deputy Kevin Newport when they went to his property investigating a report that Landis had driven his tractor over his wife’s leg and broken it. Landis was taken into custody, transported to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket and then to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee for treatment of his wound. He was released from the hospital on Friday, Aug. 8, returned to Okanogan County and booked into the county jail, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. Landis was arraigned on Monday, Aug. 16 in Okanogan County Superior Court.
According to court documents, “A warrant was issued for the arrest of James Joel Landis, Oroville, for the charges of Attempted first degree Murder, second degree Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Harassment threats to kill. Bail was set at $1 million.”
The warrant states that Landis became frustrated after he ran over and damaged irrigation equipment. He then drove his mower over several plants, got off the tractor and went into the house. His wife, Mary L. Landis, 63, observed her husband’s behavior and went to the tractor and removed the ignition key. When Landis came back to the tractor and saw the key was removed she said her husband became angered.
“Mr. Landis went back into the home and got a spare key for the tractor. He came back out to the tractor and Mrs. Landis was standing in front of it. He got mad at her and at some point drove the tractor over her right leg and broke it,” read court documents.
Mary Landis was unable to stand but told her husband she would leave the residence if he brought her the car. “Before she left he told her that he would shoot any policeman that showed up. Mrs. Landis drove to a neighbor’s residence and the neighbor took her to the hospital,” reads the warrant.
Also, according to the warrant, Deputies Harrison and Newport responded to the Landis’ residence and Newport parked northeast of the residence and walked through a field up towards the house. Deputy Harrison drove partway up the driveway. The officers had dispatch call the house to ask Landis to exit. One of the officers could see that Landis was becoming agitated and he came out of the house and yelled something at the officers then went back into the house.
“The officers started backing out of the area to get away from the home and request the assistance of a SWAT team. Landis exited the house with a rifle at this time and fired three or more shots at Harrison’s vehicle. Harrison backed down the roadway and parked his car about a 100 yards from the house on Hungry Hollow Road. Harrison then exited his car with a rifle and crawled up into the field and took a position of concealment. Landis walked out to the field, stood above Harrison’s patrol vehicle and fired several rounds into the vehicle. Landis went back into the house and then came back to the patrol car and shot it with a handgun. Deputy Harrison maintained his position of concealment in the field. Mr. Landis started to walk in the direction of Harrison. Harrison shot one time with his handgun and struck Landis in his hip. The subject dropped to the ground. Harrison then took control of the suspect, handcuffed him and then started to give him aide. EMS crews responded.”
Several agencies and officers responded to the scene that night when the first shots-fired call came over the radio. They included units from the Washington State Patrol, agents from the United States Border Patrol, an officer from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Tonasket Police and approximately nine members from the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office who were off duty at the time.