A tense and prolonged standoff in Washington came to an end Friday with a man killing himself after he had killed four others in a home in rural Mason County, near Belfair, approximately 40 km west of Seattle.
The identities of the victims and the killer have yet to be released, and a 12-year-old girl who managed to escape from the house is under medical care. While it has been ascertained that she was not shot, it is unclear as to whether she is injured.
"As far as I know, this is one family, the shooter was the father and the victims were his family," Chief Deputy Russell Osterhout told Reuters.
Neighbor Jack Pigott, 79, said he heard "four or five rounds and then a pause, and then another four or five rounds and a pause and then a couple more rounds." He added that he "assumed they were target shooting, which they had a tendency to do once in awhile."
"The original report I got was that he shot himself out on the porch and had come out of the building. We had a 12-year-old that escaped out of the house at some point, and our officers got her and transported her with an ambulance," Sheriff's chief deputy Ryan Spurling of Mason County said, giving details of the incident, according to The Guardian.
Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury noted that the gunman shot and killed himself in front of deputies, . "It's a horrific tragedy for people we may not even know about yet," Salisbury told King 5.