Gunman killed during Bainbridge Island standoff battled depression, lost job

Robert “Bob” Yeiser, the 34-year-old gunman who was killed early Sunday on Bainbridge Island by a Kitsap County Regional SWAT team, said he suffered from depression, had been arrested for drunken driving and was evicted from his moorage on Seattle’s South Lake Union, court records show.

Robert “Bob” Yeiser’s life seems to have been unraveling last summer after he apparently lost his job at Amazon, was evicted from his boat moorage and sued by his landlord, and was then arrested by Seattle police for driving drunk, court records show.

In the civil case filed by his landlord, Yeiser claimed in a court declaration in October that he suffered from depression, was broke and that his bicycle had been stolen, according to the records.

Yeiser, 34, appeared in Seattle Municipal Court on June 20 and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving in connection with his arrest this past summer for DUI, the records say. He was to be sentenced Aug. 11.

On Monday, Yeiser was identified by the Washington State Patrol as the gunman killed early Sunday by a Kitsap County Regional SWAT team on Bainbridge Island after firing shots for hours from his boat in Eagle Harbor. Yeiser, who was allegedly armed with a rifle, prompted police to direct residents living along the shoreline to shelter in place and caused ferry service between Seattle and Bainbridge Island to be temporarily halted.

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The gunfire was first reported at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Yeiser was fatally shot around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after police say he aimed his weapon at officers.

In a news release Monday, Trooper Russell Winger wrote that Yeiser was randomly firing at homes along the shoreline as well as officers.

“After hours of attempting to end the situation peacefully the subject was approached by officers on boats and ultimately shot and killed when he pointed a weapon at the officers,” Winger wrote.

Efforts to reach Yeiser’s family in Ohio were not successful Monday.

In July 2013, Yeiser signed a moorage agreement to dock his 55-foot motorsailer named the Flying Gull at a South Lake Union marina on Westlake Avenue North, court records show. He apparently stopped paying rent in May 2016.

A letter from his landlord’s attorney references an email sent by Yeiser, in which he allegedly demanded $8,000 for theft of a dinghy and overcharges:

“While the theft of your dinghy and damage to your motor is unfortunate, we are not responsible (for) either loss. The allegation that you have been overcharged is baseless and without merit,” the attorney wrote.

Yeiser’s landlord then filed an unlawful detainer complaint that July, seeking payment of $1,628 plus attorney fees.

A couple weeks before the civil suit was filed, Yeiser was returning home when he got stuck in traffic, then he attempted to make a U-turn on Mercer Street and ended up driving through a planted median, according to a Seattle police report included in his court file. Yeiser claimed to have consumed a bottle of wine and submitted to an initial breathalyzer test that measured his blood alcohol content at .18, well over the legal limit of .08, the records show.

The police report includes a notation of “Caution: (M) Mental,” but does not elaborate on why the caution to officers was included. A police spokesman did not return a call Monday seeking explanation.

In August, a judge entered an order for Yeiser’s eviction from his South Lake Union moorage, but Yeiser attempted to have that order stayed, according to court records.

In an October declaration, Yeiser wrote:

“I suffer from depression. I recently lost my job at Amazon, which has exacerbated my depression. My dispute with my landlord, the Plaintiff, has also exacerbated my depression,” the declaration says.

Yeiser went on to write that he didn’t have a driver’s license, his bicycle had been stolen and he was unable to make a court hearing because “I had only a few dollars, was not familiar with the bus system, and was unable to arrange transportation to the court house,” the declaration says.

The judge denied his motion, though it’s unclear when exactly Yeiser was forced to move his boat out of the marina.

A LinkedIn page that appears to belong to Yeiser indicates he worked for Amazon from roughly 2010 until June 2016. A company representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking information about Yeiser’s employment.

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