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Puyallup woman fatally shot identified; father suspected in shooting to be arraigned today

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 25, 2013 at 9:42 am |
March 26, 2013 9:15 am
Michael League at his arraignment today in Pierce County Superior Court. Credit: Peter Haley/The News Tribune
Michael League at his arraignment today in Pierce County Superior Court. Credit: Peter Haley/The News Tribune

UPDATE as of 3:52 p.m.: League called 911 dispatchers to report the crime.

League was obviously distraught, according to a recording of the call released by Puyallup police today.

“I just committed a father’s worst sin,” he said. “I just shot my daughter in the head and my son in the head. I had to put them out of their misery and get rid of their demons. I’m going to have to shoot myself.”

League cried throughout the call.

“It’s all because of alcohol and drugs. It tore our family apart,” he said.

League said he and his wife went away for three days and returned to find that police had been called to his home after his daughter allegedly tried to attack her brother with a knife.

“My wife was about to have a nervous breakdown,” he said. “I want to die.”

The dispatcher, a woman, talked him into putting the gun down and walking to the front door to meet officers.

“Do what the police say, OK?” she told him.

Police could be heard in the background commanding him to “keep walking, keep walking, Michael, all the way down.”

UPDATE as of 2:29 p.m.: Pierce County prosecutors today charged 69-year-old Michael League with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of his adult children early Sunday.

Not guilty pleas were entered on League’s behalf during his arraignment in Superior Court. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered League jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.

According to court records, League admitted shooting his children with a .22-caliber pistol as they slept in his Puyallup home about 3:25 a.m. League told police he used a pillow to muffle the sound of the gunshots so as not to wake his wife or two of his grandchildren, who also were asleep in the home.

The daughter, 43-year-old Danielle Faucett, died Sunday. The son, 46-year-old Dennis League, is in the hospital with critical injuries and is not expected to live.

League hung his head and wept as the charges were read against him this afternoon. He appeared in court in a wheelchair and a padded smock reserved for jail inmates considered a danger to themselves or others.

League’s wife told investigators she and her husband had been under a lot of stress with having their children living with them. The son has an alcohol problem and their daughter is schizophrenic, League’s wife told investigators.

League called 911 after the shootings and told dispatchers he’d committed “a father’s worst sin,” court records show.

A friend of his, Raymond McArthur, attended this afternoon’s arraignment. McArthur said League was “a broken man.”

“That’s not the friend I know,” McArthur told reporters outside court. “Something snapped.”

PREVIOUS POST: A woman shot and killed by her father in their Puyallup home early Sunday has been identified as 43-year-old Danielle Faucett.

Puyallup police said the 69-year-old father shot Faucett and her 46-year-old brother while they were sleeping about 3:25 a.m. No motive has been given.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the father is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on charges related to the shooting, which occurred in the 1500 block of Fifth Street Southeast.

The son was still listed in critical condition this morning.

The father called 911 to report what he had done and talked about wanting to kill himself, police said. Dispatchers talked the man into putting down a small-caliber handgun and surrendering to police, who took him into custody.

The man’s wife and two grandsons, ages 6 and 7, were safely removed from the home. Deputy Chief Dave McDonald said the wife was not involved in the incident and the grandchildren slept through the shooting.

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