Shooting rocks quiet Buckley night

By Kevin Hanson-The Courier-Herald

The calm of a cool Buckley evening was shattered Thursday when a series of shots rang out, leaving a man dead in a tavern parking lot.

Police responded about 9:45 p.m. to the White Horse Sports Bar and found Chris Smith, 32, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to information provided by Buckley Police Chief Jim Arsanto, Smith was gunned down by Paula Marshall.

Police recovered 13 shell casings in the parking lot. Arsanto noted a gun was visible in the vehicle police seized from Marshall.

Reports indicate Marshall and Smith had an on-again, off-again relationship. Together, they had a 4-year-old son. It was rumored the boy was in Marshall's vehicle at the time of the shooting, but Arsanto could not confirm that item.

Marshall was apprehended soon after the shooting by Buckley and Bonney Lake police and was whisked away to the Buckley jail. Marshall was taken into custody at her home, which is in unincorporated Pierce County, between Buckley and Bonney Lake, Arsanto said. He noted she was taken into custody without incident. By the following morning, she had been transferred to the Pierce County jail in Tacoma.

She was arraigned Friday afternoon, charged with first-degree murder, and was expected in Pierce County Superior Court Monday afternoon. Details of Monday's proceedings came too late to be reported here.

Among those delivering flowers to the the White Horse parking lot the following morning was Felecia Paasch, Smith's niece.

“He meant a lot to our family,” a tearful Paasch said. “He was always there for me, my mom and my brother.”

Lynne Doherty is a prep cook at the White Horse and arrived at work early Friday morning.

She indicated the incident was hard on a couple of the tavern's bartenders, who tended to Smith after the shooting. She said the bartenders knew Smith because he was a regular at the establishement, but were not familiar with the suspect.

According to unsubstantiated reports, last week's shooting was Buckley's first murder in more than a century.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at

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