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Gunfire at Federal Way apartment complex leaves five dead

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on April 22, 2013 at 9:25 am with No Comments »
April 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Federal Way police gather evidence Monday morning at the scene of a shooting in Federal Way  Five people were shot Sunday night, including one by police. (Peter Haley/staff photographer)
Federal Way police gather evidence Monday morning at the scene of a shooting in Federal Way Five people were shot Sunday night, including one by police.
(Peter Haley/staff photographer)

UPDATE, 12:10 P.M.: According to Federal Way Police, one shooter is believed to have killed the other four at the apartment complex on Sunday night. The 28-year-old suspect lived at the complex with his 25-year-old girlfriend.

Police say the man killed his girlfriend in their apartment, and, as he left, he was confronted by two other men in the parking lot. Police say he shot and killed them. No connection between the three men is known yet.

At that point, 911 calls begin coming in.

Another neighbor, a man in his 60s, tells others to call 911 and goes back into his apartment. The suspect fires a shotgun into the man’s door to open it. He enters the apartment and kills the man, presumably to eliminate a witness, Federal Way Police say.

Officers begin arriving on scene. They find the suspect and shoot at him; he is wounded but flees. Police later find him on the ground in the parking lot. Police say the man reached for a gun on the ground. Police opened fire on the suspect, killing him.

Police said the man used two weapons during Sunday night’s shootings — a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun.

This is a developing story. We will add more details as soon as possible.

EARLIER STORY: Five people were fatally shot Sunday night at a Federal Way apartment complex, including one man who was killed by officers as they arrived.

Police were called to the Pinewood Village Apartments, 33311 18th Lane South, about 9:30 p.m. When they arrived, gunfire was still erupting and officers could see two wounded men on the ground in the parking lot.

“When officers arrived there were still shots being fired,” police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said.

As police approached the two wounded men to help, one of them reached for a gun officers hadn’t seen. Officers then opened fire, striking the man. Schrock said it wasn’t clear if the man died from the officers’ bullets or his previous wounds.

The other man on the ground and a third man in the parking lot were found dead.

When police did a door-to-door search of the complex, they said they discovered a fourth man dead in an apartment and a dead woman in another apartment.

It’s possible the woman was killed by a stray bullet, police said.

Eight officers fired their weapons and have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

A motive was not immediately clear. Police have scheduled a press conference for 11:30 a.m. and said they will not be releasing information on the case until then.

Schrock said there is no immediate threat to the public and no shooter is being sought. Witnesses to the incident are still being interviewed.

The Valley Investigation Team will look into the police shooting.

Early this morning, a King County medical examiner arrived to pick up the bodies. The five slain people have not yet been identified.

Sylvia Valdovinos, who came to the apartment complex this morning, identified one of the victims as her son, 24-year-old Ceasar Valdovinos. She said she didn’t know what led to her son’s death.

“I just think my son was hanging around with the wrong people at the wrong time,” she said.

Ceasar Valdovinos leaves behind a 1-year-old son.

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