The 47-year-old McCleary man killed after breaking into a home in the 400 block of Elma-Hicklin Road the day before Thanksgiving was the estranged husband of the woman who shot and killed him. And there was a protection order against him after a similar incident in late August, according to court documents.
Grays Harbor County Coroner Robert Kegel identified the deceased as Dennis Allen Ruhle. An autopsy has been scheduled for this week to determine the cause and manner of death.
Court records show Ruhle had been arrested on a charge of second-degree assault Aug. 28 after reportedly assaulting both his estranged wife and a 60-year-old McCleary man, identified in court documents as her father. The 60-year-old man had a broken finger and told investigators he believed that occurred as he and Ruhle fought over a firearm, telling investigators that Ruhle had threatened to kill the two people inside the house and then himself.
Ruhle fled the scene but was located and arrested later. The second-degree assault charge was dropped Oct. 28, contingent on Ruhle following the directions in a no-contact order. Ruhle’s wife had filed for divorce Aug. 28.
On Nov. 27, according to the Sheriff’s Department, Ruhle broke into the residence shortly before 9:30 p.m. and threatened the 60-year-old man with a knife. The two struggled and the woman retrieved a firearm and shot and killed Ruhle.
The woman provided a statement to KOMO News shortly after the shooting, saying she had no choice but to shoot Ruhle.
“Life is precious. Rage is real,” she told the television station. “If it’s your life or theirs, you do what you have to do.”
Undersheriff Brad Johansson said the incident appears to be a clear case of self defense. No arrests have been made and no other injuries were reported.