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October 28, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Deaths of 3 family members in Rainier Beach baffle neighbors


The bent screen door at the home where three people were found dead Monday night. (Sara Jean Green / The Seattle Times)

Update at 2:47 p.m.: The 11-year-old killed Monday night in Rainier Beach was a student at Aki Kurose Middle School, according to Seattle Public Schools.

Principal Mia Williams sent the following letter to parents:

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our students was killed yesterday night. The student’s mother and grandfather are also dead in the incident. Her younger brother was in the house but managed to escape and call 911.

As a community, I know we will come together to not only support the surviving family members, but work to ensure our larger community is a safe place for us to live, learn and work.

We have counselors at school today and will continue to have counselors and mental health support available next week for students, staff and families, as needed. When someone dies, particularly in an act of violence, it is normal for children and teens to have different kinds of feelings and reactions. Parents and guardians have important roles in helping students understand about death.

We understand that each culture has its own way of dealing with death, and we encourage children to talk with their families about their ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Additionally, talking about the incident can be a healthy way for families to process their feelings and reactions to an event of this nature.

Original post: Three vehicles were parked in the driveway, but no one answered the door of a South Seattle home on Tuesday where hours earlier, Seattle police say a 78-year-old man fatally shot his 39-year-old daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter before turning the gun on himself.

“I’m struggling, understanding what happened. It’s really sad. We didn’t hear any gunshot, we didn’t hear any quarrel,” said a woman who has lived next door to the family’s  bungalow on the northwest corner of South Fountain Street and Renton Avenue South since 1985.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was in her driveway, taking in groceries and letting her dog out, around the time of the shooting.

According to Seattle police, a 10-year-old boy called 911 at 8:15 p.m. Monday to report the shooting, but the department provided conflicting information, saying he called from inside the house and also that he called 911 as he fled. A police spokesman couldn’t say which was accurate.

A foot-long piece of yellow police tape clung to a tree stake at the bottom of the driveway, and a metal screen door was bent in its frame — the only outward signs Tuesday that something had happened there. The house is located at the south end of Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, a block or so north of the city line.

The family was extremely private and the children didn’t play with other kids on the street, said the neighbor, who always addressed the grandfather as “manong” a term of respect in Filipino culture. She said the man’s wife also lived in the house but she didn’t know where the woman was at the time of the shooting.

The names of the victims and the 78-year-old man have not been released by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Last weekend, there was a large family gathering at the house, with cars parked along the residential street, the neighbor said.

“There was no indication at all. They never quarrel, never fight,” she said. “I’m very puzzled. They’re a close family.”

| More in The Blotter | Topics: domestic violence, homicide, murder-suicide

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