UPDATE | Boyfriend charged with manslaughter in accidental death

Police say 22-year-old Joseph A. Armas was unloading a hunting rifle when it went off.

Police arrested 22-year-old Joseph A. Armas on manslaughter charges after they say he accidentally shot his girlfriend, Ashley McClelland, in the chest at an apartment in Port Orchard.

McClelland was transported to Tacoma General Hospital where she later died. She was 20.

The incident occured on Sunday at McClelland’s apartment on Sidney Avenue. According to certificate of probable cause filed Wednesday in Kitsap County, police say Armas was trying to unload a hunting rifle when it fired, striking McClelland. Armas has a prior felony conviction and is prohibited from handling firearms.

Port Orchard police made contact with Armas and McClelland around 7:36 p.m. outside Harrison Urgent Care in Port Orchard, after their vehicle ran a stop sign en route to the hospital. A South Kitsap Fire and Rescue crew responded and transported McClelland to the hospital in Tacoma while administering first aid, the Wednesday press release from the Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team states. KCIRT is a consortium of local law enforcement agencies.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office determined McClelland’s death was caused by a gunshot injury to the chest, according to the release.

Armas was arrested Tuesday night in Thurston County on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and manslaughter in the first degree, a Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison. He is being held on $600,000 bail.

More in News

Vehicular homicide charged after man dies in crash

Fred Hake, 85, sustained fatal injuries on Route 3 Monday. Police allege the other driver was intoxicated.

Sheriff’s Office: Port Orchard man admitted to drive-by shooting

A Port Orchard man has been charged with first-degree assault and drive… Continue reading

Police share photo of explosive found near Bremerton elementary school

The device appears to be a “homemade firework,” a security expert said.

Scott Power of the Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society, orchestrates the rotation of visitors in the Walker-Ames house during a paranormal investigation.
Ghost conference makes Port Gamble a paranormal hot spot

Skeptics and believers, mediums, mystics, healers and scientists descended upon Port Gamble… Continue reading

Angel ending her elective career

Legislator and commissioner, Angel has followed a sometimes difficult path to public service

<em>Rob Gelder, Derek Kilmer, John Clauson and Gov. Jay Inslee cut the ribbon on the walkway to M/V Finest’s moorage at the Port of Kingston. </em>Nick Twietmeyer/Kitsap News Group
VIDEO | Kingston, Seattle finally connected via fast ferry

Kitsap Transit’s new fast ferry, the M/V Finest, took center stage during… Continue reading

Airporter driver dies in Highway 16 crash

Van left road and hit a tree, then burst into flames

End of whale watching? Orca task force wants temporary ban

Measures will require “significant investment” from the state and regional partners, report says.

Third segment of pedestrian pathway nearing finish line

Entire project to be completed in 2023

Most Read