Two men smashed a window before tossing a lit flare into the Olympia office of state Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Lacey, early Monday morning.
The House Republican campaign offices are also in the same building. Ring video footage posted to Twitter by Barkis’ seatmate House Minority Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, showed two individuals approaching the building around 4 a.m. One of them wearing dark clothing and a mask then smashes the window with a hammer before the other individual drops a flare into the building. The second person is seen wearing cargo shorts and using his sweater to cover his face.
Last night 2 individuals broke a window and threw a lit flare into the office of my seatmate, Rep. Andrew Barkis. We have no information about perps or motivation, but I'm very concerned. Thank goodness the flare landed on a masonry floor. pic.twitter.com/vRr829tCPC— Rep. JT Wilcox (@jtwilcox111) June 13, 2022
In the tweet, Wilcox said the building is fine because the flare “landed on a masonry floor.”
Wilcox told McClatchy Monday that neither he nor Barkis believe it was random vandalism because he thinks a hammer and a flare aren’t just something people have with them. Wilcox said they are unsure why they were targeted.
Another incident last week is concerning for Wilcox, he said. Last Friday a shooting occurred outside the home of Rep. Peter Abbarno, a Republican from Centralia. Wilcox does not believe the incidents are connected and he does not believe the shooting was directed at Abbarno.
Both incidents have been reported to the Washington State Patrol. The Olympia Police Department was also contacted about Monday’s incident. Wilcox said he sent an email out to his colleagues to tell them to keep an eye out for their families right now. He said he informed his legislative assistant as well as the House Republican Chief of Staff to be aware of the situation.
“Two out of 41 people having a felony committed in front of them or their property seems a little odd for five days,” he said.
Barkis could not be reached for comment Monday because he was returning from an event in Nevada.
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