East Pierce man apparently shoots self, girlfriend
An East Pierce County man apparently shot and killed his live-in girlfriend inside the couple’s Summit area home early Saturday, then turned the gun on himself, police said.
“We’re still investigating it, but at this point, it appears to be a murder-suicide,” Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Det. Ed Troyer said.
The couple’s one-year-old son was at his grandparents’ house at the time of the shooting, Troyer said.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has not formally released the names of the dead.
Neighbors described the man, a 26-year-old corrections officer, and the woman, a 29-year-old real estate agent, as friendly and family-oriented.
“They were a real nice couple,” said neighbor Maria Runnels. “They seemed to get along and were planning to have another kid. At least, they were talking about it.”
Gailyn Boschee, a local broker at Alliance Real Estate, said the woman had worked for him for three or four years. “She was a very nice young lady,” said Boschee, who was stunned to hear the news of the shooting from a reporter last night.
Investigators are still trying to confirm that the man worked for a federal immigration detention center at the Port of Tacoma, Troyer said. The man, who had been in the military and served a tour in Iraq, may have been a civilian employee under contract for the detention center, Troyer added.
The man’s father first alerted police to check on the couple Saturday morning, after receiving a strange phone call from his son, Troyer said.
“The relative got a message (from the man, saying), `Please take care of the baby,’ ” Troyer said.
After the relative called police, officers responded about 9:30 a.m. to the couple’s duplex in the 4600 block of 72nd Street Court East. Inside, they found both adults dead of gunshot wounds, Troyer said.
“His appeared self-inflicted,” Troyer added.
Saturday evening, on the quiet cul-de-sac lined by four single-story duplexes, neighbors said they knew nothing about what happened until after police and fire medics arrived on their street.
“This all came as a huge shock to the neighborhood,” said Nick Korschinowski. “I’ve lived across from them for two years, and we’ve never had police come to any kind of domestic violence disturbance there.”
The couple worked different shifts to avoid the costs of taking their son to day care, Runnels said. The man worked nights, so he could babysit during the day while his wife worked, she said.
“I know he was really tired all the time,” Runnels said. “He came home and took care of the baby all day.”
“But I just can’t comprehend what would be so wrong that you’d have to do that, especially when you have a baby,” she added.Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.