Police officer who left kids, gun in van going back to work

by: Lee Stoll Updated:

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MARYSVILLE, Wash. —

A Marysville police officer fired--then re-hired—after the shooting death of his daughter will return to work tomorrow. 

"It's still the most terrible day of my life,” said Stanwood artist Jack Gunter. His friend Derek Carlile stopped by his studio nearly two years ago to buy a wedding present leaving his four children alone in the family van for a few minutes. It was enough time for Carlile’s 3-year-old son to grab a loaded gun out of a cubby hole and fatally shoot his 7-year-old sister. 

"It was their worst possible tragedy," said Gunter.

Carlile was charged with manslaughter and acquitted by a hung jury. The Marysville Police Department fired him, but an arbitrator won his job back. Gunter says Carlile called him with the news.

"He said, 'Well, I'm a law enforcement officer and I'm thrilled," said Gunter.

Marysville PD won’t comment on the decision but the city says Carlile will return to the force Friday as a fully commissioned armed officer. Calls to Carlile and his attorney were not returned. 

"I have guns in my home, they are locked," said Marysville woman Nancy Kingma. She wonders if another parent who committed the same mistake would get the same second chance. 

"I've talked about it with my family. I think he should step away from having a pistol," she said.

Gunter says, "He's a total dedicated law enforcement officer and he's an incredible family man, and gentile and kind and a beautiful person."