1st Special Forces Group’s former Commander, Colonel Owen Ray, was found guilty of assault and kidnapping after an armed standoff with Washington police in 2020. The standoff involved his wife and children.
Of the seven charges initially brought against Ray, the retired Colonel was found guilty of second-degree assault while armed, reckless endangerment, and felony harassment.
After the incident in 2020, the Army allowed the Special Forced Commander to retire with an honorable discharge.
Ray will face sentencing on October 28th. He may serve up to 10 years in prison.
On December 27th, the retired Colonel got into an altercation with his wife in their home off post. At some point during the argument, Ray said, “let’s do this”, then went into his garage to retrieve a rifle and a pistol. His wife hid in their children’s room with their kids.
According to a court affidavit, Ray’s wife called emergency services further enraging her husband, t which point he began to verbally abuse and physically assault her in front of their children.
The same affidavit said, “He pointed the gun at [the wife] and threatened to kill her. He proceeded to kick [her] over and over with his boots in the face and chest. The two children had woken up and were screaming, ‘don’t kill mom, don’t shoot us.’”
After a two hour stand-off, local and state police talked Ray down.
Loren Halstrom, deputy prosecutor for Pierce County, Washington said, “He’s not up there to say goodbye to his kids. He’s not up there to explain why he’s going away, he’s up there because he wanted control. He wanted the power, and he had that power. He had the gun. He knows the power, the danger, the terror of having a gun.”
According to Ray’s defense team, the former Commander had been battling with ongoing post traumatic stress disorder stemming from his eight combat deployments of the 25 years he served.