Last weekend, 31 year-old teacher’s aide Nathaniel Rosa was shot and killed as he showered in a house owned by Bruce Fanning of Belfair, Wash.. Police now say Rosa was likely “confused” and tragically mistook Fanning’s house for one of his friends’, who lived two doors down.
That morning, Fanning found signs of a break-in, then found Rosa in the shower, then retrieved his gun. Fanning allegedly shot Rosa several times, killing him. He has not been charged with a crime at this time and is free on $250,000 bond.
The New York Post now reports that Mason County Prosecutor Michael Dorcy says the shooting may have been a case of “wrong place, wrong time.” They have presented evidence to support this.
Dorcy says Rosa had been out at bars the night before with friends, one of whom was about to be deployed to Afghanistan. Nathaniel Rosa stayed at one of those friends’ houses after the group left the bars that night. His friends’ home was two houses away from Fanning’s, and the two houses looked “very similar, even down to the floor plan,” according to the prosecutor.
Bruce Fanning told Mason County police that the showering Rosa appeared drunk and was “verbally aggressive,” as one might be early in the morning after going out to the bars.
Under Washington state law, Fanning could be charged if it’s determined that he shot Rosa without an “imminent” threat of death or severe injury, or if his shooting was not a “reasonable” defense against the threat posed by Rosa.
The New York Post reports that Fanning has a sign on his property that states, “Trespassers will be shot.”