Five people were dead, including a suspected gunman, following a shooting and standoff with police at a home in Washington state on Friday, but a 12-year-old girl safely escaped, Mason County authorities said.
Circumstances of the gun violence were not immediately clear. But the suspect “apparently came outside the home and shot himself,” Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury told the Seattle Times. “It's a terrible tragedy.” The newspaper quoted Mason County Sheriff Deputy Chief Ryan Spurling as saying that a man called law enforcement on Friday morning and reported that he shot two children, a woman and another person.
The county sheriff's office confirmed in a series of Twitter postings that four victims and a suspect were dead following a standoff with authorities that had involved negotiations and a report of four people shot at a private residence.
The sheriff's office also posted pictures showing law enforcement officers with guns drawn taking cover behind their vehicles, and a row of patrol cars parked along a gravel road in a heavily wooded area, but it provided no further details.
A short time later, the sheriff tweeted that the 12-year-old girl was “safe after getting away from the shooter, adding that her "relation to the shooter is not confirmed yet.”
Police surrounded the home near the community of Belfair, about 25 miles west of Seattle across Puget Sound, but did not immediately enter the residence because the man was armed with a handgun, Spurling said, according to the Seattle Times.
The newspaper reported that a SWAT team eventually entered the home and found four people dead. They found the deceased suspect inside a different structure in another area on the property, local broadcaster KING5 reported.
Authorities said there were 11 structures on the property, local broadcaster KING5 reported.
The girl who survived was found on the property after the standoff and though not seriously injured was transported to an area hospital as a precaution, KING5 reported.