San Juan Island man accused of shooting girlfriend; faces charges of first-degree assault, unlawful possession of firearm

A San Juan Island man is in custody today, suspected of shooting his live-in girlfriend in the chest last night in their home at 62 Lillan Lane, off Roche Harbor Road.

Doug Curnow, 35, is in San Juan County Jail, Sheriff Bill Cumming said. His 45-year-old girlfriend, identified in court documents as Lisa Barry, was flown by the U.S. Coast Guard to Harborview Medical Center, where she is reportedly communicative but still unable to talk.

Curnow is in custody on charges of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. Bail was set at $100,000 at a pre-trial hearing today in Superior Court; he was also ordered to surrender his passport. Curnow will be arraigned on the two felony charges Feb. 20.

Cumming said the shooting occurred about 10:56 p.m. Curnow called 9-1-1 and reported that he accidentally shot his girlfriend with a 40-caliber handgun. "We don't think it was an accident or we wouldn't have charged him," Cumming said.

Six officers went to the scene, as did numerous medical personnel and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Silverman, Cumming said. Emergency personnel were at the scene about 13 minutes after the shooting, Cumming said.

According to court documents, authorities discovered two other handguns and assorted ammunition in the home, in addition to the 40-caliber firearm allegedly used in the shooting. Convicted 13 years ago of first-degree and second-degree theft, both felonies, Curnow is reportedly prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Curnow was represented at today's pre-trial hearing by public defender Mary Sneering. According to court documents, he reportedly told deputies he and Barry were "playing around" with the handgun and that he was unaware it was loaded. He claims that he pointed the handgun at her twice and that she both times told him to "bring it." The weapon fired the second time and she was struck in the chest.

According to court documents, deputies discovered a spent casing in the dining room but no sign of a struggle or altercation.

More details will follow as the story develops.

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