Suspicious death in Milwaukie home ruled a homicide; police ID v - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspicious death in Milwaukie home ruled a homicide; police ID victim

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Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV

Police found a man dead inside a Milwaukie home after neighbors reported hearing screaming and banging.

Officers responded to the area of Southeast 42nd Avenue and Olson Street at around 11 p.m. Monday.

Phillip Gatto, 57, was found dead inside his home. Police initially called his death suspicious and later reported he died of homicidal violence.

The exact cause of death was not being released by police Tuesday. 

"I saw lights out the window and presumed it was a traffic stop and went to bed," said neighbor Mary Kate Otto. "[Then today] my husband said 42nd is closed and I looked online and learned someone had been killed and that was pretty unexpected."

Investigators said it appears Gatto was home alone at the time and this is not believed to be a random act. 

No other details were released about the investigation. 

"The police were here and asked if they could sweep our yard with a K9 unit," said Joe New, who lives next door to Gatto. 

New said Gatto lived at the home with his brother, and he has talked with them over the fence a few times. He said his wife heard some commotion coming from their house.

"Some shouting, some banging periodically that went on intermittently and then reached some kind of crescendo where there was loud banging," he said. "Then a car peeling away from somewhere around in here and then heading off."

Milwaukie Police Department detectives and the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team are investigating.

So far, no arrests have been made.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case call 503-786-7500.

"It's very sad and I'm very curious [as to what happened]," New said. "When somebody dies it's a tragedy."

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