(CBS/AP) FEDERAL WAY, Wash.- 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 gunmanblasted 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.