Five dead, including gunmen, in Washington state standoff

BELFAIR, Wash. (AP) -- A gunman who killed four people in rural Washington state called an officer he previously encountered to say he shot his family, leading to an hourslong standoff at a home Friday that ended with his suicide, authorities said.

A 12-year-old girl related to the victims survived and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation, Mason County sheriff's Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling said. Her condition was not immediately known.

"Apparently she's OK," Spurling said. "I don't know if this is a daughter, or step-daughter, or what the relationship is, but she escaped from the house."

The officer who took the shooter's call went to the home across Puget Sound from Seattle with another deputy. Authorities negotiated with the man for about three hours before a SWAT team entered the house in a heavily wooded area and found the bodies.

The gunman "apparently came outside the home and shot himself," Sheriff Casey Salisbury said. "It's a terrible tragedy."

Neither the gunman nor his four victims have been identified. Authorities did not detail the previous interaction between the shooter and the officer he called.

Jack Pigott, who lives down the road, said he heard gunshots Thursday night but none Friday.

The couple who lived in the house about 25 miles southwest of Seattle were in their 40s and had been married for four or five years, Pigott said. The wife had two teenage sons who were adopted from Russia during a previous marriage. She also had a daughter who was adopted from China.

Pigot said the husband had a heating and air conditioning contractor business. He had recently been hospitalized, Pigott said, but he didn't know why. When he returned home, he was on a lot of medications, Pigott said of the man.

It was common for the family to do shooting practice, Pigott said, and that's what he thought of when he heard the gunfire.

"I was getting a load of wood into the house, and I hear some gunshots," he said. "Four or five, a pause and then another round."

Pigott said residents know each other in the area that has homes with large lots with room for horses.

"It's actually really scary because when you live out like this, you want to feel like your neighbors are someone you can rely on, not somebody you have to be afraid of because we are out in a secluded area," said another neighbor, Lynn Johnson.

The SWAT team went in around 12:30 p.m., Spurling said. Officers said they had 11 buildings to clear on the property but reported they had found the bodies shortly after entering the first building.

The shooting comes days after a 26-year-old man shot and killed his parents and two younger sisters before taking his own life at the family's home in Phoenix.


BELFAIR, Wash. (AP) -- The Latest on a shooting in that left five dead in Washington state (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

  • A man who lives near a home in rural Washington state where four people and a gunman were found dead says he heard gunshots the previous night.
  • Jack Pigott told The Associated Press that he heard gunfire Thursday night but none Friday, when authorities say a man called 911 to report he had shot his family. Authorities say the man killed himself near a town across Puget Sound from Seattle.
  • Pigott says the couple who lived in the house had been married for four to five years. He says the wife had two teenage sons who were adopted from Russia during a previous marriage. She also had a daughter who was adopted from China.
  • Pigott says the husband had a heating and air conditioning contractor business.

   ------

2 p.m.

  • Authorities say a gunman killed four people in a home in rural Washington state before fatally shooting himself after an hourslong standoff.
  • Mason County sheriff's Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling says the gunman had called 911 on Friday to say he shot and killed his family. A girl who survived has been taken to the hospital.
  • Authorities say officers negotiated with the man for about three hours before they entered the home and found the people dead.
  • Spurling says the gunman shot and killed himself.

   ------

1 p.m.

  • A SWAT team is inside a rural Washington home where authorities say a man called 911 to say he had shot four people.
  • One child has been taken to the hospital from the scene. She is alive and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. No deaths have been confirmed by the Mason County sheriff's office.
  • Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling says officers have 11 buildings to clear on the property and he could not confirm whether anyone had been shot or killed.
  • Officers had been negotiating with the man since Friday morning.

   ------

12:30 p.m.

  • Authorities say one child has been taken to the hospital from a home in rural western Washington where they are negotiating with a gunman who says he shot four people.
  • The female child is alive and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
  • Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling says they have not been able to confirm whether anyone has been shot because officers have not been inside the home.
  • Spurling says his officers have talked to the man and are trying to negotiate with him.
  • A man inside the home called 911 on Friday morning to say he had shot people.
  • Belfair is about 25 miles southwest of Seattle.

   ------

10:40 a.m.

  • The Mason County sheriff's office is involved in a standoff outside a home near Belfair, where an armed man says he has shot four people.
  • Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling says they have not been able to confirm whether anyone has been shot because officers have not been inside the home.
  • Spurling says his officers have talked to the man and are trying to negotiate with him.
  • A man inside the home called 911 on Friday morning to say he had shot people.
  • Belfair is about 25 miles southwest of Seattle.

   ------

10:24 a.m.

  • The Mason County sheriff's office is reporting a shooting outside of Belfair in Mason County.
  • A SWAT team is on its way to a home from which someone called 911 to say he had shot four people.
  • Belfair is about 25 miles southwest of Seattle.
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