Second suspect in Moclips shooting arrested

Both father and son suspected in shooting death are now in custody

Law enforcement personnel arrested the second suspect in a fatal Monday shooting in Moclips on Thursday.

Rufus A. Phelps IV was taken into custody without incident on Thursday after being recognized in public, according to a news release from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office. His father, Rufus A. Phelps III, the other suspect in the shooting was arrested yesterday after surrendering himself in Seattle.

“We are very pleased to have both dangerous suspects in custody so quickly,” said Undersheriff Brad Johansson in the news release. “The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Deputies have worked around the clock on this investigation.”

The younger Phelps was transported to the county jail as an accomplice in 1st degree murder, 2nd degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. The sheriff’s office is not looking for further suspects at this time, according to the news release. Detectives were able to locate the firearm they believe was used in the shooting, according to the news release.

“We appreciate the assistance from the citizen who alerted us to Phelps. We also appreciate the assistance we received from numerous law enforcement agencies,” Johansson said. “Large investigations like this cannot be completed without teamwork from all law enforcement.”

An unrelated victim contacted the sheriff’s office during the investigation, alleging that the younger Phelps sexually assaulted her on March 11. Detectives are still investigating this and will submit their evidence to the county prosecutor when the investigation is complete, according to the news release.

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or