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Trooper's killer had violent, drug-abusing past | Update
The gunman who killed Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu was an ex-convict who went to prison on domestic violence and meth charges and was considered a high risk to commit a violent crime after his release two years ago.
Joshua Blake, 28, shot himself in the head Thursday morning inside a trailer on a rural South Kitsap property as a SWAT team closed in on him. He was rushed to Tacoma General Hospital, but was pronounced dead that afternoon.
His 32-year-old ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of his 3-year-old daughter, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. She made an initial appearance in Kitsap County District Court on Friday afternoon and remains in custody on $500,000 bail.
"She was trying to help him get out of the area," Kitsap County Sheriff's Sgt. Ken Dickinson said at a news conference Friday morning at the sheriff's office.
He said Blake had called the woman after the trooper was shot and they met at the property on Scofield Road where Blake shot himself.
Officers recoverd a .40-caliber handgun at the scene, but investigators didn't know yet if that was the gun used to kill the trooper.
Radulescu stopped a 1999 green Ford F350 pickup that Blake was driving on State Route 16 near Gorst around 1 a.m. Thursday.
When the trooper did not respond to radio calls after reporting his traffic stop to dispatchers, a Kitsap County sheriff's deputy went to the scene and found Radulescu lying wounded next to his patrol car. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, where he died of his wounds.
During a manhunt by law enforcement agencies from throughout the region Thursday morning, authorities got a tip that Blake might be at a residence on Scofield Road, a private unpaved road in the area south of Mullenix Ridge Elementary School.
Blake's pickup had been found in Port Orchard earlier that morning, partly concealed in bushes along Sidney Road. Dickinson said investigators have not yet determined how Blake got from where the pickup was found to the Scofield Road location; however, a white Ford Escort was impounded from the same address where the pickup was found.
A 2001 graduate of South Kitsap High School, Blake was convicted in 2008 of meth charges, plus fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief and violation of a no-contact order. According to the state Department of Corrections, he was in prison for two-and-a-half years, followed by a period of community supervision beginning in March 2010.
But Selena Davis, a DOC spokeswoman, said Blake often failed to comply with the terms of his community supervision, which sometimes landed him back in jail, most recently for a 47-day stint that began in May 2011.
Blake did not complete a required chemical dependency treatment program, and often did not report to his assigned corrections officer, Davis said.
But then his supervised time was up.
"Mr. Blake has not been under our jurisdiction since August 2011," Davis said.
Sheriff Steve Boyer said at Friday's news conference that the woman charged with rendering criminal assistance had been in an abusive relationship with Blake.
"She was a victim many, many times at his hands," Boyer said. "He's a violent individual."
The sheriff and Dickinson also said that when investigators interviewed the woman, she said Blake had told her he shot an officer.
"We are confident (Blake) is the one responsible for the tragic shooting of Trooper Tony yesterday," Boyer said.
Radulescu, 44, was a 16-year-veteran who was based in Bremerton, lived in Port Orchard and was well-known in the community. Boyer, who had a long career with the State Patrol before becoming Kitsap County Sheriff, was his former supervisor.
"There was no finer individual," Boyer said Friday.
Reporter Brett Cihon contributed to this story.
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The pickup that was stopped by State Trooper Tony Radulescu before he was shot early Thursday was found a few hours later on Sidney Road in Port Orchard. (Sherrie Cerutti photo)