Tumwater Walmart shooting victim paralyzed, remains in critical condition

By Joseph O’Sullivan

The Seattle Times

OLYMPIA — He had left prison behind, landing a job and even getting promoted, and he enjoyed spending free time with his grandchildren.

It had been a good several months for 48-year-old Rickey Fievez — until Sunday evening’s shooting in Tumwater.

Sitting in a car in the town’s Walmart parking lot, Fievez became a target of Tim O. Day, a 44-year-old McCleary man who according to police had embarked on a seemingly random spree of carjackings and shootings.

Near the culmination of his rampage, Day attempted to take Fievez’s car, according to his son, Tyler Fievez.

Fievez and Tyler’s mother, who works at Walmart, had been walking into the store when they heard the gunshots and ran back to their car, according to Tyler.

Day fired twice into the vehicle, hitting Fievez, before moving around to the passenger side and Tyler’s mom, according to Tyler. But Fievez got a foot on the gas, bringing the car around.

Then, Day moved on to other targets, according to Tyler, who described the moment as “my dad’s last movement that he could do with his feet.”

The bullets have left Fievez paralyzed from the neck down, according to Tyler.

The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with Fievez’s medical costs.

Fievez also lost his spleen and part of his pancreas, and ruptured his stomach, according to the campaign’s page. And he suffered injuries to his diaphragm and may lose his voice, Tyler said in an interview Friday.

By the time he encountered Fievez, Day had already attempted to take several vehicles in town — some successfully — and had entered the Walmart, fired into the store’s locked cabinet to get more ammunition, and had returned to the parking lot, according to police.

Moments after the bullets struck Fievez, an Oakville pastor named David George, who happened to be a trained emergency responder and was legally carrying a firearm, pulled his weapon and shot Day, stopping the melee.

Day died of multiple bullet wounds to the torso, the Thurston County Coroner’s office said Friday. Two other people suffered minor injuries. Fievez was transport by air to Harborview Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.

Fievez had spent much of the past several years in prison on drug-related charges, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Since his release last October, he had landed a job at All City Fence Co., a Seattle-based company that makes both residential and commercial fences.

Rick Koch, the company’s owner, described Fievez as “a rising star that was at the wrong place at the wrong time” on Sunday.

Koch said Fievez was in the process of being promoted to a senior foreman, and, “He was going to do well in the new position that he had.”

In his spare time, Fievez loves playing with his grandchildren, according to Tyler.

It’s too early to know how Fievez’s recovery will go, and whether he’ll regain some movement. Tyler said it could be months before swelling subsides around his spine, but the family is hoping for some improvement.

“If he’s at least paralyzed from the waist down,” said Tyler, “he could move his hands and talk and hold his grandson.”