FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Gunfire erupted at an apartment complex in a city south of Seattle and five people were shot to death, including a suspect who was shot by arriving officers, police said early Monday.
Officers responding to an emergency call at 9:30 p.m. PDT Sunday at the apartments in Federal Way 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 time, officers opened fire. The suspect died, but police said it wasn’t immediately clear whether 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 whether 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.
“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.
By dawn, a King County medical examiner’s office truck arrived at the scene to pick up bodies. Crime scene investigators continued working. One officer was seen carrying books and a gun to what appeared to be an evidence van.
There were no reports of any officers being injured. Names of the five people killed were not immediately available.
Federal Way is about 20 miles south of Seattle.