Within 24 hours, Clallam County Sheriff's Deputy William Cortani was shot twice, shot the man who shot him, rode in a helicopter to a Seattle hospital and drove back to Clallam County to be with his wife in Forks.
"He was very fortunate," Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said to the Clallam County commissioners on Jan. 20.
"Deputy Cortani was trained to maintain the will to survive and accomplish his duties and he succeeded."
The shootout took place at a vacation rental cabin on state Route 112, which is east of Neah Bay and west of Sekiu, near Ray's Grocery.
A store clerk called authorities after noticing a vacant cabin was being used, likely by a squatter. Cortani, 41, responded to the scene.
"Deputy Cortani approached the cabin, discovered the door was standing open and entered with his firearm drawn," Benedict said, indicating the practice is standard procedure.
"He encountered the suspect, Scott Lincoln Davis, 59, of Silverdale, who was initially compliant with (the deputy)."
However, once Cortani went to arrest Davis for burglary, the man resisted. Cortani used his Taser to restrain the man but, due to the thickness of his jacket, the Taser was not effective.
"At that time, the suspect drew his firearm and began shooting at deputy Cortani, who in turn fired shots while fleeing the cabin for cover outside," Benedict said.
The suspect reportedly shot all the bullets loaded in the handgun, left the scene and returned a moment later with a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun from his truck.
"The deputy was able to shoot down the suspect before being shot himself with the shotgun and held him at gunpoint until help from two Neah Bay Fish and Wildlife officers and Sgt. Brian King arrived as backup."
The whole altercation, from Cortani's arrival to his backup's arrival, was about 35 minutes.
"Deputy Cortani is being released today after noon and is expected to be in good condition," Benedict said Jan. 20. Cortani was hit once in the left arm and once near his hip.
"Both shots were 'straight-through shots,' so nothing that was vital inside his body was hit."
The suspect sustained more significant injures as a result of Cortani's gunfire but is expected to survive, Benedict said, adding that the investigation was taken over by Washington State Patrol late on Jan. 19.
Cortani is an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's office. He is married and a resident of Forks.
Reach Evan McLean at emclean@sequim gazette.com
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