Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slain woman had been granted protection order

Investigators collect evidence are seen at the apartment complex
where the man and woman were killed early Tuesday.

RENTON, Wash. -- Investigators say a 26-year-old man armed with a gun forced his way into an apartment early Tuesday and killed his estranged girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.

Renton police spokeswoman Penny Bartley said two other adults and four children who were in the apartment barricaded themselves in another room.

"They fled into a back bedroom and they phoned police," Bartley said. "Within a matter of minutes there were gun shots fired."

The name of the 25-year-old woman who was killed has not been released.

Bartley said the woman had a protection order against the man, and the couple had a history of domestic violence. Police initially said the two were married, but later clarified the relationship.

The woman who was killed requested the protection order on October 27, and the man violated the order two days later, officials said.

On November 10, he failed to appear at a related court hearing, and a permanent protection order was issued. That order was served to him on November 15.

"Unfortunately we see this that very often people request protection orders, and unfortunately it's a piece of paper," Bartley said.

The shooting happened just before 1 a.m. at an apartment complex at 1150 Union Ave Northeast, where the man and woman lived in separate buildings.

Three of the kids who were in the apartment at the time of the shooting - ages 5, 4 and 1 - are the children of the dead couple.

"They're the tragic victims in this situation, because now both their mother and father are dead," Bartley said.

Bartley said the kids have been placed in the care of state Child Protective Services.

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