breaking news News Washington

Alleged SAR imposter at Oso mudslide

UPDATE: Shayne Barco’s website page “K9 Training & Certification”

UPDATE: Shayne Barco’s website (home page)

UPDATE: KING 5’s updated story with mention that “subject of (station’s) story” has been arrested.

UPDATE 2:05pm:   At 2:01pm (PST), KING 5 updated its online story with the following statement:

The Washington State Patrol said Friday afternoon it had arrested the subject of this story, Shane Barco. A WSP spokesperson said Barco was an impersonator and not actually a search and rescue dog handler.” -KING 5

Developing Story has learned that a message broadcast from the Oso mudslide Incident Command Center today reported that a Search and Rescue “impostor” was believed to be at the scene of the mudslide.

The alleged impostor is believed to be using the name Shayne Barco.

Incident Command’s audio message stated that attempts were being made to develop probable cause for an arrest warrant. obtained a copy of the audio from Twitter user  @SnoCo_Scanner.

You can listen to the audio here.

[hmp_player playlist=’Oso_Mudslide_Incident_Command’]

About an hour prior to the broadcast from Incident Command, a  story featuring a man named Shane Barco appeared on a Seattle television station’s website.

According to its website, King 5 News posted its story online at 8:21am.

King 5’s report features an interview with a man named Shane Barco.  The station’s online story states Barco is from Bellingham.

The television report says Barco is the handler of a 3-year-old German Shepherd named Stratus.

The radio message issued by Incident Command provided a different name for the alleged impostor’s dog.


News video Washington

Woman learns her friends are alive


(Oso, WA)  Teresa Smith could never have imagined the most welcome surprise she’d encounter while walking her dog along SR 528 in Oso early this afternoon.

It started when a honk came from an approaching Chevrolet Silverado.

The driver paused on the road.

Smith–grieving the loss of so many lives here, including two close friends–was in for quite a shock.

Turns out those two close friends were in that Chevy.

Smith had thought the Ron and Gail Thompson were killed in Saturday’s  mudslide.

The Thompson’s home, like so many others, had been obliterated in the catastrophe.

But the Thompsons had actually left their house only minutes prior to the slide.

“Seeing them today was like a precious gift from God,” Smith said.

The moment Teresa Smith learns that her friends Ron and Gail Thompson are still alive. Ron Thompson pictured in vehicle.
The moment Teresa Smith learns that her friends Ron and Gail Thompson are still alive. Ron Thompson pictured in vehicle.

Please note:  I was taking photos of the Oso fire station  from across the street when I heard the Chevy honk its horn. Hearing the excitement and seeing the embracing that followed, I photographed that moment thinking it might be a story.  The Chevy was driving off as I made my way toward the scene.  Ms. Smith kindly agreed to an on-camera interview. -Mark Horner


breaking news News

Manhunt near Mill Creek, WA

Local law enforcement began searching for a fleeing suspect late this morning in south Everett, just outside of Mill Creek.

No word yet on why the man is wanted.

Deputies and a dog  searched The Lakes by Mill Creek apartments, and nearby Albertsons grocery store and a storage business.

Update: It appeared no suspect was located while I was at the scene.  Still no word on why law enforcement was searching for him.

Beyond 90 Seconds DSLR Snohomish Snohomish River video Washington wildlife youtube

VIDEO: Silver salmon jumping on Snohomish River

I couldn’t yet see the Snohomish River, but after getting out of my SUV and taking a brief walk, I could hear the familiar sound of salmon “having a splash.”

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[youtube_sc url=”” width=”640″ height=”360″]

bloopers News reporting television video

The perils of *LIVE* TV “caught on tape”

I’ve worked in TV long enough to see a fair share of things go wrong, including a homeless woman stripping in the distance before running up behind a reporter interviewing an FBI Special Agent-in-Charge.

Yes, all of it “live.”

Another bit of bad luck happened to a reporter as I anchored an evening newscast in Albuquerque. She appeared lively and enthusiastic at the beginning of her live shot. But when she reappeared at the end of her report, she was soaked and dripping with determination to get through an uncomfortable moment. Turns out she was standing next to a sprinkler.

I am also thankful for the moments that were not live. A late 1990s meth bust in the East Mountains outside of Albuquerque comes to mind. For at that secluded scene within the pinon and juniper, a dog raced towards me and fervently established an undeniable connection with my leg. This was a very friendly canine.

It was so bad, I had to seek refuge in the live truck. Yet another good reason for responsible pet ownership: Get them spayed and–in this case–NEUTERED.

At least it wasn’t “live.”

The reporters that appear in a montage (below) posted on YouTube just yesterday weren’t so lucky.

They now know, first hand, the potential perils of TV news reporting (much of what you’ll see was live).

Some of these broadcast journalists, no doubt, would have gladly accepted an encounter with a “friendly” dog or a sprinkler surprise in exchange for the fates that unfolded here…