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Shooting in Federal Way leaves 5 dead

A shooting at an apartment building late April 21 left five people dead, including the suspect.

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FederalWayFEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Three of four victims in a shooting that left five dead Sunday night have been identified.

The medical examiner’s office identified these three victims:

  • Justine E. Baez, 24,  resident of Federal Way
  • Ceasar A. Valdovinos, 23, unknown residence
  • Roland L. Scobee, 62, resident of Federal Way

A fourth victim, believed to be a 47-year-old resident of Federal Way, has not yet been identified.

The suspect, who was shot by police after trying to reach for a gun, was identified as 27-year-old Dennis Clark III.


FEDERAL WAY — More details were disclosed Monday about the shooting in Federal Way in which a gunman killed his girlfriend and three of his neighbors before police shot him dead.

The shooting started inside the Pinewood Village Apartments on Sunday after a domestic dispute, police said. The gunman moved from one apartment to a second apartment and then into the parking lot.

The first victim was apparently the shooter’s girlfriend. The other three were apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One day after the shootings, the apartment walls are still riddled with bullet holes and neighbors are still trying to come to grips with what happened and the lives lost.

“It was terrible to witness it. To hear it is one thing, but to actually see it is a totally different thing. I saw the guy get murdered and I heard my neighbor getting murdered,” neighbor Ron Brown said.

The first of many 911 calls came in just about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

“The shooter had killed his girlfriend and was trying to kill any witnesses that he seen,” Brown said.

Brown was in a neighboring apartment with his 1-year-old son.

“I was on the computer and heard some gunshots and came to the window and heard gunshots right behind us here. Then minutes later I saw a guy running with a shotgun.  I thought he was running upstairs but come to find out he was running downstairs,” Brown said.

Investigators said they believe the gunman killed his girlfriend and then targeted witnesses, killing three of them, including a longtime resident known only as Roland.

Moments earlier, Roland yelled out for someone to call 911 and for that reason police believe he was targeted by the gunman.

“Next thing I know, I heard shots coming out of his apartment, so I figured the guy had went in there; then I get up and look through the peephole, I can see the shooter coming out reloading his gun,” neighbor James Mack said.

Mack said he then heard more shots.

What he didn’t know at the time, the shots that hit the outside of the building ended up in his apartment.

Two dozen holes in his bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and hallway.

“I could hear shrapnel hit my face, flash by my face,” Mack said.

Andrea Mettler said Roland was a good friend and a nice guy.

“It’s kind of a lot to take in. He and I were close friends, especially close at home.  I’ve been here about four years and it’s, like, too much to take in,” Mettler said.

Only one other victim has been named – 23-year-odl Caesar Valdovinos. He leaves behind a young child and a family in mourning.

“I miss him. I wish he were here, that’s all, and I can’t believe this is happening,” the victim’s mother, Sylvia Valdovinos, said.

Police said the gunman, who was hit by gunfire from eight officers and killed, had a history of domestic violence.

So far the King County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the names of the dead.

The eight officers who fired their weapon have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard in any officer-involved shooting.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — New details emerging in the Federal Way shooting that left five people dead Sunday night show the suspect targeted witnesses who saw or heard him shoot his girlfriend.

Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson said the gunman — a 28-year-old man who shot his girlfriend and three other people before being killed by police —  opened fire on all three male victims in an attempt to eliminate witnesses to the murder of his girlfriend.

Multiple 911 calls alerted police to the initial shooting when police said the suspect shot and killed his girlfriend. Investigators believe the shooter then took a shotgun to another apartment in the complex and fired a couple of blasts through the front door – killing his 62-year-old neighbor.

FederalWayCops say the shooter killed two more strangers in the parking lot. When police arrived at the scene, the suspect allegedly pulled his gun and was shot and killed by eight officers.

“Preliminarily, we believe that he may have been trying to kill his witnesses that may have seen him,” Wilson said.

Police said the suspect has a history of domestic violence calls, once in Seattle and another in Federal Way, but he was never charged in those cases. Investigators have not released the identity of the shooter or his victims, but Wilson says his officers did everything by the book to keep people safe.

“Some of the tactics used yesterday have been recently a part of our training program in the last six months,” said Wilson. “It’s really specialized stuff and I am convinced it made a difference in saving officer’s lives. Police training saves officers lives and it saves community members lives.”

The eight officers who discharged their weapons are on paid leave while the Valley Investigation Team is looking into shooting. Police said the leave was standard procedure for any officer who discharges their weapon.

Shockwaves were still reverberating a day after the event in the close-knit community. Sylvia Valdovinos, the mother of one of the victims, said the whole incident left her in disbelief.

“I miss him, I wish he were here,” Valdovinos said. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Four people were killed by a man on a deadly rampage before he was shot and killed by police Sunday night at a Federal Way apartment complex, police said.

According to police, the shootings took place shortly after 9:30 p.m. at the Pinewood Apartments in the 33300 block of 18th Lane South in Federal Way. Piecing together stories from witnesses and investigators, police believe the killings began with a domestic violence homicide and continued with the angry man walking outside and shooting those who confronted him.

The incident started when the 28-year-old suspect shot his 25-year-old girlfriend in the back of the head in their shared apartment. The man then walked outside and encountered two men; a 46-year-old and a 24-year-old. Witnesses reported hearing yelling, and the suspect shot both men with a handgun, killing them. The younger man was shot in the back while attempting to run, police said, and witnesses said they saw the suspect “execute” the man once he fell to the ground.

A neighbor in his early 60s walked outside his apartment when he heard the gunfire and saw the shootings. The man yelled for someone to call 911 and locked himself inside the apartment. Police said the suspect shot open the man’s door with a shotgun, entered the apartment and shot him in the stomach. The neighbor had no known contact with the man prior to the incident, police said.

federal way shootingAs soon as police arrived, they saw the suspect exiting a stairwell carrying a shotgun. Police told the suspect to drop the gun, but he allegedly continued to advance and police shot him. Wounded, the man ran into the parking lot and fell. He allegedly then reached for a handgun when several officers fired on the suspect, killing him.

The suspect had a record of prior verbal domestic disputes, and was known to carry firearms. He had a valid Concealed Pistol License and many guns, police said. Somewhere between six and 15 shots were fired at the scene.

Eight Federal Way police officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard policy for officer-involved shootings.

Police held a press conference Monday morning about the incident, and ensured neighbors that there was no potential safety threat. Counselors were on hand to assist witnesses and family members.