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Skaar, Deputy Arthur W.

End of Watch: 
Monday, June 13, 1966
County: 
Skamania
Agency: 
Skamania County S.O.

On Monday, June 13, 1966, Deputy Art Skaar of the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office was shot and killed while arriving at a disturbance call.

Shortly after beginning his shift, Deputy Skaar was dispatched to the Skye area in the west end of Skamania County.  Mrs. Juanita Ahrendt had called the sheriff’s office to report that she was having trouble with her sixteen year-old son, John.  He had been drinking alcohol that day and generally disobeying his mother.

In 1966, Skamania County’s radio system didn’t cover the entire county.  In fact, it didn’t cover most of it.  Just after Deputy Skaar left radio range, dispatch received a call from Mrs. Ahrendt to report that John was now armed with a rifle and he was making threats to use it if officers responded.  Deputy Skaar was heading into an ambush and there was no way to warn him.

Trooper Dick Arnold of the Washington State Patrol was relayed the update and responded from Stevenson.  He was hoping to intercept Deputy Skaar prior to his arrival and made several attempts to reach him on the air using different frequencies.

Deputy Skaar arrived at the Ahrendt home and exited his patrol car.  As Deputy Skaar approached the front door, John Ahrendt raised a 30.06 rifle and fired a single shot, striking Deputy Skaar in the neck.  He was killed instantly.

A few minutes later, Trooper Arnold arrived at the house and found Deputy Skaar deceased.

John Ahrendt was tried as an adult in Skamania County Superior Court, where he eventually pleaded guilty to second degree murder.  He was sentenced to life in prison.