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2 toddlers living in ‘squalor’ found in home where Pierce Co. deputy was shot

TACOMA, Wash. -- Two small children were discovered inside a Frederickson home where a Pierce County sheriff's deputy and two other men engaged in a fatal shootout Sunday night.

Deputy Daniel McCartney was called to the home in the 5100 block of 200th Street East to a report of a home invasion, which was the 18th time deputies had been called to the house in the past two years.

When he arrived, he found two men outside. A chase and shootout ensued, which led to the death of the deputy and one suspect.

Related: Suspect in deputy’s murder was wearing body armor

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department released new details Wednesday on the condition of the home they said was a "trap house" and known to deputies for drugs and other crimes.

"The house was in terrible condition," Det. Ed Troyer said.

Troyer said the only "innocent victims" in the home were two small toddlers, ages 2 and 3 years old, who were living in "squalor" with no beds.

The sheriff's office said three men and a woman - all in their 20s - lived with the two children in the home. At the time of the home invasion, all but one of the men was inside the home. He arrived in a car about the same time as McCartney.

Authorities say a grandmother of one of the residents owned the home.

"But make no mistake: Their alleged drug activities set in motion the series of events that led to a hero's death," said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor.

It's too soon to know if anyone else living inside the home will face charges directly related to Deputy McCartney's murder, Troyer said.

Troyer said deputies had been called to the home time and again, including for a missing 3-year-old who reportedly had walked away from the house in just a diaper. Ten minutes later, the child was found inside the bathroom of the same home.

Troyer said the sheriff's office believes the initial crime was related to drugs and/or drug money.

Frederickson is a small community about 15 miles southeast of Tacoma.