Bainbridge officer returns to work following shooting

The Bainbridge Island police officer who was suspended following the police shooting of the man who fired random shots at the Eagle Harbor shoreline earlier this month has been cleared to return to duty.

The eight police officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of Robert D. Yeiser were identified by their respective police departments Monday.

Yeiser, 34, of Seattle was shot as he stood on the deck of his sailboat, the Flying Gull, after a four-hour standoff in Eagle Harbor on the evening of July 8.

Yeiser reportedly fired nearly 200 rounds at random at the shoreline and homes along the harbor before he was confronted by a police SWAT team in two police boats in the early morning hours of July 9.

Authorities said they had tried for hours to get Yeiser to surrender peacefully and step off his sailboat, but Yeiser was shot numerous times after he reportedly aimed a rifle at officers in the boats pulling up next to his vessel.

Several police officers, including a Bainbridge officer, fired their weapons at Yeiser.

Yeiser died at the scene.

Detectives have not said how many times Yeiser was struck, though the Kitsap County coroner reported earlier that Yeiser died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

While the investigation into the shooting continues, the names of the officers involved in the shooting were announced Monday.

Officer Dale Johnson of the Bainbridge Island Police Department was one of the officers who fired upon the gunman, according to the Bainbridge department.

Johnson has been an officer on Bainbridge for more than 25 years and is a member of the Kitsap County Regional SWAT team. As with the other officers involved in the shooting, he was immediately placed on paid administrative leave following the incident.

The Bremerton officer involved in the shooting was identified Monday as Corporal Dahle “Duke” Roessel, an 11-year member of the department and also a member of the Kitsap SWAT team.

Roessel has also been placed on paid leave pending the completion of the shooting investigation, which is being conducted by the Washington State Patrol’s Criminal Investigative Division.

Authorities said six other officers, all with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, were also involved in the shooting and were placed on administrative leave.

Those officers were identified as Deputy Anthony Graham, Deputy Shane Hanson, Deputy Andrew Hren, Deputy Eric Janson, Deputy Greg Rice and Sgt. Wilson Sapp.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, all six were cleared to return to duty Monday.

Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner said Johnson, the Bainbridge officer involved in the shooting, had been cleared to return to work by midweek.

Hamner said he was grateful for the support shown to the department in the days following the shooting.

“I want to really express gratitude for the community and their expressions of support for us,” Hamner said.

The shooting was tragic for all involved, he said.

“Its very difficult; it’s tough on the department, it’s tough on everybody. We all had high hopes it would end differently,” Hamner said.