'I deserved to win that one': Man subdues gunman after being shot three times

Mason County deputies investigate a shooting Wednesday at the Spencer Lake Bar & Grill. (Photo: Mason County Sheriff's Office)

SHELTON, Wash. -- A Shelton restaurant owner was shot three times and still managed to subdue the suspect and get the gun away.

It happened Wednesday morning when the Spencer Lake Bar & Grill was full of people at a Kiwanis meeting.

"You're scared to death just like anybody else would be," said shooting victim Larry Lawrence. "I was fighting for my life."

Lawrence was in the hospital reliving the moments he nearly lost his life, hit three times at close range -- including near his heart. "But somehow, and I guess according to the surgeon, it followed my rib cage all the way around, and it's sitting under the skin. I can feel it in the small of my back."

The shooting happened at 7:30 a.m. when the restaurant side was full with the Kiwanis meeting, when all of a sudden loud noises were coming from the bar.

Lawrence says a Paul Olafsen Jr., 64, who was in court Thursday, reportedly was arguing loudly with the bartender demanding to be served a drink.

Court documents say Lawrence and Olafsen struggled. Olafsen pulled out a .38-caliber pistol, court documents say, and fired.

Lawrence said he had to make an instant decision to act.

"So I as quick as I could crossed that 10 feet between us. The gun was already out and at me, and he just started lighting off rounds," he said.

Despite being wounded, Lawrence got the gun away and several members of the Kiwanis Club helped pin the man down.

"This really could have gone worse. We had an entire meeting of Kiwanis at the restaurant that morning," said Lt. Travis Adams of the Mason County Sheriff's Office.

Lawrence recovered quickly and was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. He was asked, "How soon before you go back to work?"

"This afternoon; light duty," he replied.

And there he was back at his establishment where it all happened. He demonstrated how the struggle with the gun took place: "It was just a matter that his gun was at this level and started shooting. And I picked it up and over."

The bullet holes are a reminder of how close he came to being killed. "You get lucky once in awhile," said Lawrence. "But I deserved to win that one. He was the bad guy, and I was the good guy. I deserved to win that one."

Lawrence said the bullet will be taken out of his back in a few weeks. He wants to keep it in a jar on the bar.

Olafsen is being held on $750,000 bail.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off