By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The 51-year-old man shot in the abdomen when he was found inside someone else’s home over the weekend has taken a turn for the worse, so the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office released him from their custody to avoid being responsible for paying for his medical treatment.
Brian L. Creed was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the early Sunday morning incident at a house on the 400 block of Highway 603 west of Chehalis.
A news release from the sheriff’s office later that morning described his condition as stable although a nursing supervisor at the hospital that afternoon said Creed was in critical condition.
Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher in court documents filed yesterday asked a judge to cancel a planned court appearance noting Creed could be laid up for as much as a month.
Meagher stated he was told by Sheriff Steve Mansfield yesterday morning Creed was going to require surgery to repair internal damage to his intestines from the gunshot.
The hospital bills are staggering, there’s no sense sticking the taxpayers with them, Meagher wrote.
Creed was charged on Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court with burglary and misdemeanor assault for allegedly entering the unlocked home of 24-year-old Joshua Norman and his wife and then charging Norman who was armed.
The sheriff’s office said Norman fired one shot with a 40 caliber handgun and then Creed tackled him. Norman broke free and held Creed at gunpoint until deputies arrived shortly after 5 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Mansfield held a press conference on Monday morning where he shared the findings of the initial investigation and said it was a straightforward case of the use of deadly force. Meagher told news reporters it appeared the 24-year-old acted appropriately in protecting himself and his wife.
Mansfield said Norman’s only mistake was not firing more shots, not firing sooner and not using better ammunition.
Creed was high methamphetamine, according to Mansfield. The sheriff said he, and probably Creed, didn’t know why he went into the house.
Sheriff’s deputies had been guarding Creed at the hospital.
Jail Chief Kevin Hanson said this morning Creed is now being watched by hospital security instead of the sheriff’s office.
“He’s not going anywhere, he’s not a threat to the community,” Hanson said.
Creed is on a feeding tube and in the critical care unit, according to Meagher.
By law, the hospital must notify them when he is to be released and the sheriff’s office will go pick him up, Hanson said.
The charging documents filed in court this week tell a similar story to what the sheriff’s office has already recounted.
Norman woke up to voices outside and thought someone was in his garage because a motion activated light turned on, the documents state.
He told his wife to call 911 and armed himself, Meagher wrote.
The encounter was described by Sheriff Mansfield as occurring while Norman stood outside his closed bedroom door.
However, Meagher states in court documents it happened in the kitchen.
According to Meagher, when Norman heard his front door open and someone walk inside, he went to the kitchen and flipped on the light.
He saw a lone, white male unknown to him, Meagher wrote.
Norman ordered the intruder out, at gunpoint, telling him would be shot if he didn’t leave, Meagher wrote.
The intruder charged, Norman fired his gun, they wrestled, Norman broke free and held Creed at gunpoint until deputies arrived, according to Meagher.
Norman suffered a bump on his head in what the sheriff called a fight for his life as the two men rolled around on the floor.
Sheriff Mansfield has repeatedly described Norman not by his name, but as the home owner. County property records however show the owner is another man and woman. Mansfield said earlier this week he didn’t know who owned the house and didn’t mean to use the term as literally true.
Creed has two felony theft convictions and a trespass conviction from 2009 as well as one misdemeanor theft conviction from 2011 and another from last year, according to court documents. He also currently has an active warrant out of Cowlitz County District Court, the documents state.
The new burglary charge does not allege he was attempting to steal, but that he unlawfully entered the home and committed the crime of assault while inside.
Mansfield said Creed recently moved back into a nearby house, at 110 Nix Road, a residence that had been the source of great fear in the neighborhood. It’s owner and former lease holder say he may have been visiting, but has never lived there.
It was home to several men transitioning out of prison until last summer when the county pressured it to close its doors.
Documents in Creed’s court file show his address on Clark Road near Onalaska.
Creed has a court date of April 23 to face a judge and hear his charges.
CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to correctly reflect the date Creed is summonsed to appear in court.
For background, read “Lewis County sheriff pronounces full support for shooter of intruder” from Tuesday February 12, 2013, here