A shooting that left five people dead at a Federal Way apartment complex Sunday started as a case of domestic violence, police said Monday. It ended with a woman the suspect was living with and three innocent bystanders dead before police shot and killed the suspect.
Officers responded to 911 calls at 9:30 p.m. at Pinewood Village in the 33300 block of 18th Lane S.
Police said the suspect, in his late 20’s, shot and killed a woman in her mid-20’s who he was living with in the complex.
The suspect then went to the parking lot where he shot two men who confronted him, police said. He then grabbed a shotgun.
Two other people came out of their apartment to see what was going on. One called 911. The other, a man his early 60’s, was shot and killed in his apartment, police said. The suspect allegedly shot open the door of the apartment with the shotgun, then shot the victim.
Officers arrived and found the suspect in a stairwell with the shotgun. Police said officers fired on him after he refused orders to drop the gun. The suspect was able to get away for a short time.
Police said they found the suspect a short time later outside on the ground with a semi-automatic handgun nearby. The suspect reached for the gun and the officers again fired, killing the suspect.
Sylvia Valdovinos believes her 23-year-old son, Caesar, was one of the victims.
“I just don’t want to believe this is happening to us,” said Sylvia. She said Caesar had been in trouble with the law before, but cleaned up his act and was living with his girlfriend and 1-year-old daughter. It’s believed Caesar was one of the two men who was shot in the parking lot.
“I just think my son was hanging around with the wrong people at the wrong time,” said Sylvia.
There were no reports of any officers being injured, and the names of the five people who were killed were not immediately available.
Police say the suspect had a valid concealed weapons permit. He had no prior criminal history, but was involved in two previous domestic violence calls in Seattle and Federal Way. Those involved women who were not the same as the victim of Sunday’s shooting.
Federal Way Police said they had the suspect in their records with a “caution” because of his DV history and because he was known to carry firearms.
Eight Federal Way Police officers are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.
The Auburn Police Department is conducting the investigation.