SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Washington- A man was tragically killed while attempting to aid deer in crossing a busy road, according to local law enforcement. Daniel Spaeth, 37, was reportedly trying to slow down traffic near his residence to ensure the safety of the animals when he was fatally shot on September 7.
Spaeth’s wife, Allissa Beckman-Spaeth, was with him at the time of the incident. She informed authorities that they were in their driveway, attempting to slow down both northbound and southbound traffic. She was facing away from her husband when she heard a gunshot. Upon turning around, she found her husband lying in the road with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Local deputies arrived at the scene, located approximately 40 minutes north of Seattle, around 7:45 p.m. and discovered Spaeth deceased. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation, reviewing surveillance footage from nearby businesses. Their findings led them to a light-colored Lexus sedan, which was believed to be involved in the shooting.
The following day, an off-duty deputy spotted the sedan. The driver, identified as 22-year-old Dylan Picard, was subsequently pulled over. When questioned about the reason for the stop, Picard admitted to shooting someone. He also informed law enforcement that the firearm in his vehicle was the one used in the shooting.
Picard explained to investigators that he had reached for his gun out of fear when he saw a man and a woman in the road. He claimed the man was yelling and hitting the car in front of him. Picard stated that he fired a shot to scare the couple as the man approached his open passenger-side window, but was unsure if the shot had hit anyone. He also admitted that neither the man nor the woman had touched his vehicle, and he did not stop or call 911 after the incident.
Picard was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on September 8. His bail was set at $500,000 and he is currently being held in custody at the Snohomish County Jail, as per online records. The investigation is ongoing, and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is urging any witnesses to come forward.