A 51-year-old Tacoma man who police say shot and killed his neighbor Thursday night was paranoid, a heavy drinker and easily angered, according to neighbors.
Detectives have not determined a motive for the shooting, which happened about 8 p.m. outside the victim’s house in the 4600 block of North Ferdinand Street.
“They got into a disagreement and (the suspect) started shooting,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “We don’t know why.”
The suspect fired several rounds from his back porch before walking to the victim’s home and getting into a confrontation.
Some neighbors said they heard at least 10 shots. At least two saw the suspect walking casually back to his home after killing his neighbor in the yard.
Police responded and found the victim’s body. After speaking with several witnesses, they determined who the suspect was and blocked off the neighborhood while they searched for him.
The suspect went to a friend’s house in Gig Harbor, told them he’d “done something bad” and said he wanted to kill himself. The friend called 911.
As Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrived, the suspect shot and killed himself.
Neighbors said the alleged shooter drank whiskey daily and had recently lost his manual labor job. He was paranoid and would frequently confront people in the area, ranting about how much he hated cell phones and same-sex couples.
His rants recently grew into violence, talking about killing people.
“As soon as I saw police on the block, I thought of this guy,” said neighbor Jason Jones. “He was a crazy guy.”
The victim – who has a 12-year-old son – was known as an outgoing, loving man who loved to fish and worked as a process server. He also served as an elder at his church.
“He was very unique,” said Mike Keblbek, the victim’s roommate and friend since 5th grade. “He was a wonderful guy.”