Crime

Man, 2 teens charged in shooting of officer in Mount Vernon

Ernesto Lee Rivas, middle, is led into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County sheriff's deputies for his first court appearance in Mount Vernon, Wash., Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.
Ernesto Lee Rivas, middle, is led into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County sheriff's deputies for his first court appearance in Mount Vernon, Wash., Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. AP

A 44-year-old man suspected of shooting a police officer in the head in Washington state was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder.

Ernesto Lee Rivas was charged in the shooting of Officer Mike “Mick” McClaughry, 61, who was fired upon while canvassing a neighborhood with other officers Thursday in Mount Vernon after a shooting was reported earlier that day.

McClaughry remained in critical condition at a Seattle hospital Tuesday. The officer is a father of three and a grandfather who started working with the Mount Vernon Police Department in 1985.

Rivas, believed to be a gang member, is being held on $1 million bail. He was taken into custody after an hourslong standoff, during which authorities say he repeatedly fired at officers. According to court records, he has not admitted to shooting McClaughry.

Rivas has an extensive criminal record that includes eight felony convictions, according to court and patrol records. In 1998, he reached a plea deal with Yakima County prosecutors that saved him from a life sentence for a “third-strike” conviction, according to a Yakima Herald-Republic story.

Two boys, ages 15 and 16, who were in the house with Rivas during the standoff also were charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder in the officer shooting.

The teens also were charged with attempted second-degree murder in the earlier shooting.

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