FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) – What began as a domestic violence homicide claimed three more lives before officers fatally shot the gunman, the police chief of this south Seattle suburb says.
The 27-year-old gunman fatally shot his live-in girlfriend at an apartment then killed three men, including a neighbor who told others to call 911 and retreated inside his unit before the gunman blasted open the door with a shotgun and opened fire.
Responding officers shot and killed the gunman in a parking lot Sunday night.
“We believe this is a domestic-violence homicide,” Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson told a news conference Monday.
Investigators believe the shooter may also have been trying to kill witnesses, Wilson said.
A King County medical examiner’s spokeswoman said Monday that the identities of the dead were not expected to be released until Tuesday afternoon.
Police encountered a chaotic situation in Federal Way when they responded to reports of gunshots.
The suspect confronted arriving officers with a shotgun in a stairwell then fled to the parking lot after officers fired at him, Wilson said.
He was killed on the ground while reaching for a handgun, Wilson said.
“This is one of the most dangerous … calls for law enforcement to respond to,” Wilson said of the active shooter situation.
Wilson said the victims included the suspect’s 25-year-old girlfriend, and three men, including the 62-year-old neighbor. The other men were 24 and 46.
Police believe the gunman shot his girlfriend in their apartment, then killed the two younger men after he left the unit.
Wilson said the 62-year-old heard the commotion from another apartment, went outside to investigate and urged others to call authorities. The man returned to his residence before he was shot and killed, the chief said.
Police said the gunman used the shotgun to fire on the man’s door to gain entry. It did not appear that the older man knew the shooter, police said.
“When officers arrived there were still shots being fired,” said police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
Eight officers fired their weapons, Schrock said. All have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy in such situations, as the investigation continues.
Wilson said the suspect, who had a valid concealed weapons permit, had no criminal history. However, he had been involved in two prior domestic violence calls in Federal Way and Seattle, the chief said.
Both incidents were verbal in nature and no arrests were made, Wilson said.
Federal Way is about 20 miles south of Seattle.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier