Police pursuit ends in apparent suicide

POULSBO — It began as a simple traffic stop. It turned into a slow-speed pursuit that ended in a car crash and apparent suicide.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office identified the driver as Victor S. Schiavone III, a 40-year-old man from North Kitsap.

“We were fortunate that all of this took place early in the morning when there weren’t many people or cars around, or the event could have been even tragic than it was,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.

Here’s the timeline:

5:39 a.m. April 18: A Poulsbo police officer stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic violation. When the officer got out of his cruiser, the driver of the other vehicle sped off, heading south on Viking Avenue toward Silverdale.

5:40 a.m.: The two cars engaged in a low-speed pursuit. When they entered unincorporated Kitsap County, sheriff’s deputies were notified.

5:52 a.m.: Ahead of the pursuit, sheriff’s deputies put out spike strips on Silverdale Way on the south side of the Waaga Way overpass near the Home Depot exit. Its tires punctured, the suspect’s vehicle continued on Silverdale Way until suddenly it careened out of control, crossed the northbound lane of traffic and entered a McDonald’s parking lot. Crossing the lot, it destroyed a divider, then crashed into an older-model white GMC.

5:53 a.m.: Officers approached the vehicle and found the driver bleeding from a head wound. At first it was thought the wound resulted from the crash. However, when Medic 51 from Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue Station 51 arrived and cleaned the wound, they discovered it had been caused by a bullet.

6:19 a.m.: CKF&R transported the man to the helo pad at Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale.

6:56 a.m.: An Airlift Northwest helicopter transported Schiavone to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was pronounced deceased by the attending ER staff.

Police recovered two firearms from the car, which was later transported to the police impound lot until a search warrant could be secured to investigate all of its contents. Schiavone, who had been found guilty of DUI, disorderly conduct and theft in his younger days, had applied to have his right to possess firearms restored in November.