TED S. WARREN
The Associated Press
Gunfire erupted at a Federal Way apartment complex Sunday night where five people were shot to death, including a suspect who was shot by arriving officers, police said.
Officers responding to an emergency call at 9:30 p.m. at the Pine Village Apartments encountered a chaotic scene, with bullets flying.
“When officers arrived there were still shots being fired,” said Federal Way police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
They found two wounded men on the ground in a parking lot. One of the men reached for a gun as police moved in to assist the two, she said.
At that point, officers opened fire. The suspect died but police said it wasn’t immediately clear if it was from their gunfire.
The other man on the ground and a third man in the parking lot were found dead.
In a search of the complex, police found a fourth man dead in one apartment and a slain woman in another unit. Schrock said police were trying to determine if the woman was hit by a stray bullet.
A total of eight officers fired their weapons, Schrock said. All have been placed on administrative leave, per standard policy, as the investigation continues.
There was no immediate word what set off the shooting. Police scheduled a briefing for late Monday morning.
“We still don’t have any idea what started this disturbance tonight,” Schrock said.
After police flooded the area and carried out searches, authorities said they were confident there were no more casualties from the shooting.
They said they did not think another shooter was on the loose or that there was an immediate threat to the public.
There were no reports of any officers being injured. The names of the five people killed were not immediately available.
Officers were using a metal detector to search a grassy bank across the street from the apartment complex this morning.
Kristina Braun, 23, said she, her husband and 3-year-old daughter went to the movies and dinner yesterday, arriving about home 9:30 p.m.
“We saw and heard a ton of ambulances and police cars everywhere,” she said this morning.
Her family was still not allowed to return to their apartment this morning, awaiting police to give the OK.
“It’s actually really calm, normally … This is the first huge issue,” said Braun, who’s lived in the complex for two years. She said about 6 months ago, a lot of police showed up for the robbery at a nearly grocery.
Sung Yang, who runs a motel nearby, said he and residents heard the gunfire.
“I heard gunshots. Lot of gunshots. It was scary,” Yang said.
There was a series of shots at first and then after about 10 minutes, more shooting, he said.
“Everybody staying here came out to see what it was,” but they got little information.
“I’ve lived here five and a half or six years and I’ve never had a problem. I just don’t understand it.” said Kelly Burki, a resident of the complex.
Burki, 51, was out for the evening and was returning home about 11 p.m. to find her street closed by police. She said she was told she could return home in a couple of hours, but at 8 a.m today, police still had the street closed.
Burki said she is a bartender who frequently doesn’t get home until around 2:30 a.m. “But even at that hour, I’ve always felt safe. I’ve never fear.”
Seattle Times staff reporter Jack Broom contributed to this report.