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Dublin: 11°C Monday 27 June 2022

'It's a terrible tragedy': Five dead in apparent family murder-suicide

A 12-year-old girl survived the carnage.

A detective works the scene of the shooting.
A detective works the scene of the shooting.
Image: AP

A US GUNMAN who killed four people in Washington state yesterday called an officer to say he shot his family, leading to an hours-long stand-off at a home that ended with his suicide, authorities said.

A 12-year-old girl related to the victims survived and was taken to hospital for an evaluation, local people said. Her condition was not immediately known.

The officer who took the shooter’s call went to the rural home in Belfair, close to 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.

Police said the gunman “apparently came outside the home and shot himself”.

“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Sheriff Casey Salisbury said.

Neither the gunman nor his four victims have been identified.

Clearing buildings

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

The couple who lived in the house about 25 miles southwest of Seattle had been married for four or five years, Pigott said.

Casey Salisbury Local police speak to reporters. Source: Ted S. Warren

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

Officers said they had 11 buildings to clear on the property after a Swat team went in around 12.30pm local time 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.

Read: Three arrested after man (28) shot dead in front of family at south Belfast home

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