Crime

Mount Vernon police officer shot during standoff is improving in hospital

In this undated photo released by the Mount Vernon Police shows 61-year-old Washington state police officer Mike "Mick" McClaughry, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while investigating a reported shooting in a Mount Vernon neighborhood in Washington.
In this undated photo released by the Mount Vernon Police shows 61-year-old Washington state police officer Mike "Mick" McClaughry, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while investigating a reported shooting in a Mount Vernon neighborhood in Washington. AP

A Mount Vernon police officer who was shot in the head last month while responding to a call is showing signs of improvement in the hospital.

Officer Mike “Mick” McClaughry, 60, was moved out of the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Wednesday. He is in serious but stable condition.

Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock told the Skagit Valley Herald that the veteran officer still has a long recovery ahead, but McClaughry recently gave a thumbs up when asked by a doctor how he was doing.

“You could tell as you speak to him there’s some cognitive recognition,” Cammock said. “He’s not able to speak, but he’s in the really early stages of reconnecting … it seemed like he recognized voices.

“I think it just continues to be the encouraging news we hope for,” he said. “There is still a long road ahead.”

McClaughry is a father of three who started working with the Mount Vernon Police Department in 1985.

McClaughry had been in the intensive-care unit since the Dec. 15 shooting. He was responding to a shooting in Mount Vernon, 60 miles north of Seattle, when he was shot. After a lengthy standoff at a home, officers arrested Ernesto Lee Rivas, a 44-year-old repeat felon who has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Two teenagers in the home also have been charged. Authorities said police faced repeated gunfire during the standoff.

Charging documents said Rivas is a gang member with an extensive criminal record that includes eight felony convictions.

The Skagit Valley Herald contributed to this report.

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