Officials in the state of Washington have identified the names of the gunman and those he shot to death in a murder-suicide that claimed the lives of five people including the gunman at a rural home in Belfair, located about 25 miles west of Seattle. According to a February 29 Associated Press report shared by The Beloit Daily News, David Wayne Campbell is reported to have killed his wife, his two teenage stepsons and one neighbor before turning the gun on himself.
Campbell’s victims were identified as his wife of six years, 49-year-old Lana J. Carlson, her two teenage sons, Quinn and Tory Carlson, and neighbor Donna Reed, 68. The identities were released by Wes Stockwell, the Mason County Coroner. Stockwell said that all of the victims’ bodies were found in a chicken coop at the site of the murders in a tragic tale that began to unfold Friday morning and lasted until a standoff between Campbell, sheriff’s deputies and SWAT came to its deadly conclusion.
On Friday morning, Campbell called the sheriff’s office to say he’d done something terrible and was feeling suicidal. As soon as officials arrived on the scene, they had identified a tense domestic family situation was unfolding, according to a report from Reuters carried by Aol.
Deputies arrived at Campbell’s home around 8:30 a.m. on Friday and could see the armed man inside the house through one of the windows. The standoff went on for hours, according to a separate report from Reuters.
After trying to negotiate with Campbell for several hours, police attempted to flush him out of the house with tear gas. That’s when police said that the gunman stepped outside and shot himself to death in full view of deputies on the scene. It took the remainder of the weekend for the coroner’s office to identify the last of Campbell’s four victims.
If there was one silver lining to this horrific tragedy, there appears to be a lone survivor in the Washington murder-suicide. Chief Deputy Russell Osterhout of the Mason County Sheriff’s Department said that “a 12-year-old girl, escaped or was released by the gunman,” according to Reuters. The little girl, believed to have been Campbell’s daughter, got out of the house before Campbell took his own life.