FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- A man fatally shot his live-in girlfriend at an apartment south of Seattle, then killed three men, including a neighbor who told others to call 911, authorities said yesterday.
The 27-year-old suspect was later shot and killed by responding officers at an apartment complex parking lot.
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"We believe this is a domestic-violence homicide," Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said Monday.
Wilson said investigators believe the shooter may also have been trying to kill witnesses, KOMO-TV reported.
Police found a chaotic situation in Federal Way, about 20 miles south of Seattle, when they responded to reports of suspicious circumstances about 9:35 p.m. Sunday.
The suspect confronted 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.
A King County medical examiner's spokeswoman said yesterday that the identities were not expected to be released until this afternoon.
Wilson said the victims included the suspect's 25-year-old girlfriend and a 62-year-old neighbor. The others were 24 and 46.
Police were still piecing together information but believe the suspect 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. He returned to his unit before he was shot and killed, Wilson said. Police said the gunman used the shotgun to fire on the man's door to gain entry.
Wilson said the suspect had a valid concealed weapons permit and no criminal history but was involved in two prior domestic violence calls in Federal Way and Seattle.