Former Detective Ed Owens' son Ryan shot himself Sept. 14, 2010, while playing with his father's gun at their Battle Ground home.
Owens faults a malfunctioning gun safe for allowing his son access to the weapon, The Columbian reported. He says he didn't know the safe was defective and the sheriff's office refused to have it tested.
The sheriff's office responded that Owen should have known and had it fixed.
Owens was fired in November.
An internal affairs report indicated Owens blamed his 11-year-old stepdaughter and coerced her into making a false confession.