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.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon