Police say a 28-year-old man gunned down his girlfriend and neighbors at an apartment complex in Federal Way early Monday morning.
Officers responding to an emergency call at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the apartments located at 33300 block of 18th Lane South encountered a chaotic scene, with bullets flying.
“When officers arrived there were still shots being fired,” said Federal Way police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
Police say they encountered the man in a stairwell carrying a gun. They fired upon him after he failed to heed their warnings to stop.
Wounded, the man fell in the parking lot.
“There was a semi-automatic handgun adjacent to the subject on the ground…the subject reached for the gun,” Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said in a news conference.
Officers fired and killed the man.
Police say they believe the calls to 911 began with a domestic violence homicide. The suspect shot his 25-year-old girlfriend in the head and then left with some belongings in a large gym bag.
A witness told police the suspect then fired upon two men, one of which was executed.
Police say a fourth man, in his early 60’s, went outside to see what was happening, yelled to a neighbor to call 911, and then went back inside. That man was later found dead in his apartment.
“Preliminarily, we believe he may have been trying to kill his witnesses,” said Wilson.
Officers showed up to the complex when the suspect was in a stairwell having just exited the deceased man’s apartment.
“The suspect that was shot by Federal Way police officers is responsible for the death of the other four individuals,” said Wilson.
One of the deceased men’s mothers arrived to the scene with her daughters Monday morning.
“That’s my son right there. I can’t believe this is happening to us,” said Silvia Valdovinos, the mother of 24-year-old Cesar.
She believes her son, who has a girlfriend and one year old baby, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A total of eight officers fired their weapons, Schrock said. All have been placed on administrative leave, per standard policy, as the investigation continues.
Police say the suspect had a valid concealed weapons permit and no criminal history, but he did have prior domestic violence calls in Federal Way and Seattle. The woman found dead in his apartment was not the subject of those domestic violence calls.
The names of the victims have not been released.