A man accused of shooting at an ex-partner at a Centralia gas station on Dec. 29 was arrested on Monday and has been charged with second-degree assault and drive-by shooting.
The victim was reportedly parked at a gas pump in the 1200 block of Mellen Street around 6 p.m. when she saw the defendant, Keaton Taylor, 26, of Centralia, in “a newer, white, four-door passenger vehicle … with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand holding what she believed to be a firearm,” according to court documents.
She ducked as a bullet went through the driver’s side window.
An officer with the Centralia Police Department later observed the bullet holes in the vehicle and confirmed the bullet entered the driver’s side window from the outside and exited through the rear passenger’s window.
The victim said she “would have been hit by the bullet entering through the driver’s side window if she had not ducked,” according to court documents.
She waited to report the incident until the following morning “because if Keaton saw the police respond to the scene, she believed he would again come to try and kill her,” according to a statement from the victim.
She reportedly said she believed Taylor was targeting her because the two were no longer on speaking terms “and Keaton thought (the victim) was a snitch,” according to court documents.
After an investigation, Taylor was arrested on Jan. 3 when he reported to the jail for a separate community supervision matter. His bail has been set at $100,000.
“High bail is appropriate to protect the victim in this case,” said Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher during Taylor’s preliminary appearance hearing in Lewis County Superior Court on Jan. 4.
Despite defense attorney Rachael Tiller’s request for a lower bail based on the argument that Taylor lives locally and has no history of failing to appear for a mandatory court hearing, Lawler granted Meagher’s bail request.
“The concern is the allegations here, the use of a firearm and the threat to community safety,” said Lawler.
Taylor’s next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 6.