State, federal agencies withhold shooter’s info

— Officials are staying mum on investigations into a ranger-involved shooting last month at the Kettle River Campground in Ferry County.

Kettle Falls resident Michael Sublie, 41, was arrested after the incident in which a National Park Service ranger apparently was shoved off a houseboat gangplank as he and another ranger were investigating a noise complaint.

No charges have been filed, although he did make an appearance in U.S. District Court in Spokane. He was released without having to post bail.

Sublie’s friend, Casey Hartinger, 43, of Kettle Falls, was shot in the incident. He was treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane and later released.

The National Park Service has not released the rangers’ names, although those involved said the officers were Josh Wentz and Matt Phillipson.

Park Service spokeswoman Jaime Smith would not confirm the identities.

“There is both a criminal and administrative process that must proceed, one that we are committed to following,” she said.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the names of either the rangers or the other individuals involved, given the current ongoing status of the investigation.”

Similarly, Washington State Patrol spokesman Trooper Jeff Sevigney also declined to comment.

The patrol is investigating the incident.

“The WSP is still working on this investigation,” he said.

Hartinger and Sublie’s friends, family and supporters rallied against the Park Service last week at the Stevens County Courthouse in Colville, saying the rangers overreacted.

Sublie’s attorney, Roger J. Peven, did not reply to Chronicle requests for information.


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