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Husband says wife yelled to ‘just shoot her’ during argument

Posted at 12:40 PM, Apr 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-15 12:43:19-04

HOODSPORT, WA (KCPQ) - A 64-year-old man said he shot and killed his wife of 37 years with a shotgun after they had been arguing all day and it escalated to the point where his wife just screamed at him that he should "just shoot her" because she couldn't take it anymore, police said Friday.

The husband said he then went into his wife's "hope chest" in the master bedroom, put together a shotgun that was inside and returned to shoot his 55-year-old wife while she was lying on the couch in the living room, according to a "probable cause" document filed in court by the Mason County Sheriff's Office.

The man said he then "went out on the back porch and sat down to smoke and drink some wine," the document said, before he called 911.

In his call to 911 late Thursday, the husband said that he shot his wife because she told him, "that she can't do this anymore." The dispatcher apparently interpreted that to mean that it might have been a mercy killing, with a terminally ill woman requesting death.

The suspect's wife was identified Friday as 55-year-old Vanessa Thorson.

When Mason County sheriff's deputies arrived at the home Thursday night, Thorson was dead inside the house.

The husband told detectives that he and his wife had made a "major move" to their new home near Lake Cushman two weeks ago and that they have been arguing constantly. He also said he is on a lot of medication for heart issues and depression and does not sleep well, probable cause documents stated.

The documents also said the suspect told police that his wife woke him at 1 a.m. Thursday and yelled at him to make her something to eat and that it escalated into a daylong argument. He told detectives that at one point his wife said, "Why don't you just shoot me?"

The shooting took place at 111 N. Fairway Dr. E. near Lake Cushman.

On Friday, bail for the man was set at $1 million. His arraignment is set for Monday -- the same day an autopsy on his wife is scheduled.