Suspect in Moclips murder over property dispute turns himself in; son later arrested

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1 dead after being shot multiple times in Grays Harbor County

Deputies say a man accused of killing another man during an argument turned himself in to police two days after the deadly shooting and his son was captured two days later.

According to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office (GHCSO), around 1:40 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of Otis Ave. in Moclips for a report of a shooting. When deputies arrived, they found a 59-year-old victim with multiple gunshot wounds.

Officers from multiple nearby law enforcement agencies arrived to the scene and immediately performed life-saving measures, but the victim died shortly after being taken away from the scene.

Rufus Andrew Phelps IV and his father Rufus A Phelps III. (Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office)

Authorities say neighbors and witnesses were able to identify the suspect as 62-year-old Rufas A. Phelps III. Investigators believe an argument over a property dispute led to the shooting.

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Officers searched the area the night of the shooting, and returned to see if they could find Phelps on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the sheriff's office said they spoke with Phelps and negotiated his peaceful surrender. He was taken into custody in Seattle and booked into the county jail for investigation of first-degree murder, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Detectives said they also have probable cause to arrest Phelp's son Rufus Andrew Phelps IV as an accomplice to first-degree murder, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

He evaded capture for two days before he was caught. A citizen saw his face and called police.

Phelps IV was booked into Grays Harbor County Jail for first-degree accomplice to murder, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. 

During the murder investigation, another victim, unrelated to the murder case, came forward and said she had been raped by Phelps IV on March 11.  

He could also face charges for the alleged rape after an investigation is conducted.  

"We are very pleased to have both dangerous suspects in custody so quickly. The Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office Detectives and Deputies have worked around the clock on this investigation. We appreciate the assistance from the citizen who alerted us to Phelps. We also appreciate the assistance we received from numerous law enforcement agencies. Large investigations like this cannot be completed without teamwork from all law enforcement," the sheriff's department wrote in a press release.

Anyone with information on this case can call the non-emergency line at 360-533-8765 or email