A Washington state man suspected of killing his girlfriend and three others before being fatally shot by cops near Seattle had a history of domestic violence, but not with the partner he murdered.
The suspect, a tenant at the Pinewood Village apartment complex in Federal Way, Wash., killed his girlfriend Sunday night inside their apartment, Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson told a news conference Monday afternoon.
“At this time, we believe this is a domestic-violence homicide,” Wilson said.
He did not name the shooter or the victims, but he did say that the suspect was a black male born in 1985 and that his girlfriend was a white female born in 1988. They both lived in the Federal Way apartment.
Wilson said the man does not have any criminal history but does have “prior domestic violence calls” in both Federal Way and Seattle. The police chief said the suspect was “known to carry firearms” and is therefore listed in internal record systems “with a caution."
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Wilson said the caution did not list the victim whom the man was living with.
After killing his partner, the suspect went to the parking lot of the apartment complex, where he was approached by two people.
“The nature of that contact is still under investigation, and we don’t have a relationship between them,” Wilson said.
The two victims were a Hispanic male born in 1989 and a white male born in 1966. Both men lived in Federal Way.
“We believe that the suspect shot and killed both these individuals in the parking lot,” Wilson said.
At some point, the shooter returned to the apartment complex and “obtained a shotgun.” Two neighbors who live in the complex heard shots and went outside their apartments to check out the situation, according to Wilson.
One of the neighbors told the other to call 911. He then went back to his apartment and found the other neighbor dead, the police chief said.
The neighbor died from a shotgun wound, according to Wilson. Another shot was fired through the man’s apartment door. He was described only as a white man born in 1951 who lives in the apartment where he was killed.
“Preliminarily, we believe he may have been trying to kill witnesses who may have seen him,” Wilson said of the other people killed besides the girlfriend.
The suspect then exited his apartment and went to a stairwell where he was confronted by police called to the scene.
The officers gave “verbal commands,” but the suspect did not comply, resulting in the officers firing shots, according to Wilson.
The suspect then dropped his shotgun and fled on foot, and officers eventually found him in the parking lot of the apartment complex.
Lying on the ground, the suspect reached for a semiautomatic handgun, and cops “fired several rounds” at the suspect, killing him.
Officers found two guns involved in the shootings -- a .40-caliber Taurus semiautomatic pistol and a pistol grip Mossberg 500 pump shotgun with a 4-round saddle on the butt of the gun. The suspect had a valid concealed weapons permit and owned a .45-caliber handgun, according to Wilson.
The police chief said he hasn’t seen a multiple homicide in Federal Way where there were so many victims. He commended the officers involved in the incident.
“I cannot be more proud of the officers who responded to this active shooter investigation,” he said. “This is one of the most dangerous type of calls for officers to respond to.”
The eight officers involved were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Wilson said. All eight fired their weapons during the incident.