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Probe into standoff could take 'some time'

Investigators are still trying to determine how a fire started during a standoff between law enforcement officials and a Central Kitsap man last week.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said it might be some time before the Washington State Patrol crime lab completes a report on whether tear gas canisters thrown into the home of Vincent Bouthillier on Thursday, April 4, started the fire. Bouthillier died in the blaze after a 25-hour standoff in which he called himself a “martyr for Israel.”

“The investigation is still ongoing,” Wilson said of the situation he described as “nasty. It was one of the longest standoffs I’ve been involved in.”

The standoff began at 3:30 p.m. April 3 and ended at 5 p.m. April 4. SWAT teams from Kitsap and Pierce counties attempted to rescue Bouthillier and firefighters were summoned to extinguish the blaze.

Bouthillier, 33, was found dead sitting in an upstairs walk-in closet at the home near the intersection of Anderson Hill and Willamette Meridian roads west of Silverdale.

Sheriff Steve Boyer said investigators found a loaded .38-caliber pistol lying on the floor next to Bouthillier’s hand.

“He was positioned in a way that if somebody opened the door, he was ready to execute them,” Boyer said.

Bouthillier repeatedly told negotiators, “You’ll have to shoot me. You’ll have to kill me and I’ll shoot you if you come in.”

A shotgun also was found in the home. Bouthillier brandished the shotgun when deputies arrived to investigate a report of gunshots in the rural neighborhood.

The county coroner’s office has not determined the cause of Bouthillier’s death, though officials believe the man died of smoke inhalation.

Wilson said Bouthillier is survived by a brother and several children.

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