Five people were killed Sunday night after a Seattle-area man shot his girlfriend and then confronted and killed three others who'd tried to stop him during a shooting spree. The gunman died in the subsequent confrontation with police.
Police in Federal Way, Wash., said today that a 27-year-old man with a history of domestic violence used a handgun to shoot and kill his 24-year-old girlfriend, setting off a flurry of 911 calls from the apartment complex and drawing individuals out to see what was happening, according to Brian Wilson, chief of the Federal Way Police Department.
Police did not release the names of the suspect or victims of his gunfire but said that it appeared the alleged killing stemmed from domestic conflict.
When the suspect left his apartment, he was confronted by two men in the parking lot of the complex, Wilson said at a press conference today.
The suspect shot and killed both men, and then went back to his apartment to retrieve a shotgun, Wilson said.
The men were 23 years old and 47 years old. Police are still investigating what was said during the confrontation and whether the suspect knew the victims, Wilson said.
After the burst of gunshots, two other residents of the apartment complex emerged from their units to see what was happening outside, and one instructed the other to call 911, Wilson said.
The man who gave the instructions went back into his apartment, and the suspect allegedly shot him through his front door using a 500 pump shotgun. The victim, who was 62 years old, died of gunshot wounds.
The individual who called 911 was not injured.
The suspect entered into a stairwell in the apartment complex where police officers responding to the 911 call confronted him, but the suspect refused to comply with police orders, Wilson said.
"Verbal commands were given by officers to that subject, the subject was not complying with the verbal commands, and given the fact he was armed, officers fired on that subject," Wilson said.
The suspect dropped the shotgun and ran into the parking lot, chased by police. Officers found him on the ground there, moving toward a handgun, and fired on him again.
In all, eight officers fired their weapons at the suspect during the confrontation. The suspect was killed in the gunfire, Wilson said.
"This is one of the most dangerous type of calls for officers to respond to. Their training, their commitment, is remarkable," Wilson said.
All the officers have been placed on administrative leave following the attack, which Wilson described as standard procedure for any law enforcement officer who discharges a weapon.
The suspect had no previous criminal record but had a warning attached to his name in the Federal Way Police Department's computer system, alerting officers to the fact that he was known to carry weapons.
He had permits for the weapons, Wilson said.