VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - The 80-year-old man who shot and killed another man inside a residential retirement building in downtown Vancouver told detectives he did it because of an ongoing feud, according to court documents.
Robert E. Breck was booked into the Clark County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Vancouver police were called out to the Smith Tower Apartments at West 5th Street and Washington Street at 2:10 p.m. Thursday. Shots were fired in the lobby, according to investigators.
Police said three people were shot. One man, identified as 75-year-old Dean Leon Tunstall, was pronounced dead at the scene and two women, identified as 77-year-old Enelia Montoya and 44-year-old Shawne L. Garris, were taken to the hospital.
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center reported receiving two patients from the shooting. Both were listed in satisfactory condition Thursday evening.
According to court documents, Garris was the caretaker for Breck for about a year until a few weeks ago when she said he offered to "pay her to be his mistress."
Garris declined and Breck fired her as his caretaker, according to court documents.
Garris told detectives that she has heard that Breck told Tunstall that she had been going into Tunstall's room without his knowledge. According to court documents, Tunstall had told Breck he didn't know who Garris was.
According to court documents, Montoya told detectives that Breck had been spreading rumors about Tunstall and Garris to other men at Smith Tower. Montoya also told detectives that she confronted Breck on Wednesday and "asked him to stop spreading rumors."
Montoya said she told Tunstall to be careful because she heard Breck was carrying a gun, according to court documents.
Court documents state that on Thursday when Tunstall, Montoya and Garris were in the lobby of the Smith Tower Apartments, Breck came into the lobby and began yelling at Tunstall that "he lied and he did know who Garris was."
According to court documents, both Montoya and Garris told detectives that Breck had a gun in his hand and shot Tunstall. Breck then shot Montoya and Garris.
Garris fell to the floor and heard another gunshot, according to court documents. She then waited until Breck left and called 911, court documents state.
After the shooting, Breck retreated to his apartment on the 13th floor. SWAT and crisis negotiators responded, and at around 4:45 p.m., Breck surrendered and was taken into custody.
Court documents state that Breck was advised of his Miranda Rights during an interview with detectives. Breck told detectives that he wanted a lawyer, but then stated "the reason I shot that guy" and summarized his ongoing feud with Tunstall, according to court documents.
Breck again mentioned that he wanted a lawyer, but then stated that he shot Tunstall due to an ongoing feud and, according to court documents, said he "couldn't take it anymore."
Court documents said that investigators found video surveillance that captured the entire shooting and corroborated the statements by Montoya and Garris.
Tunstall's neighbors told FOX 12 he was a good soul who loved to ride motorcycles.
"He was a character, loved to dance and loved to joke around," said Judy Maes, who lives in Smith Tower. "He was a good guy. He didn't deserve that."
Other Smith Tower residents told FOX 12 they were shocked by what happened, while wondering about Breck.
"I think he needs a prayer more than anyone else," said Geronimo Miranda. "He's probably sitting there thinking about what he did and it's probably sinking in, 'What did I do? What have I done?"
For Frances Bonilla, another resident at the apartment complex, the incident is a painful moment that she will remember for the rest of her life.
“The policeman came blasting into the door with the big rifles, then there was another policeman coming with a big shotgun," Bonilla said. "As soon as I came out I saw the gentleman who was killed on the floor and a lady next to him.”
Bonilla says she stepped into the lobby and saw a man dead on the floor.
“I didn’t see him moving, so I knew he was dead," Bonilla said. "I said oh my goodness, I hope it’s not the man who always rides his motorcycle, he lives right next to me.”
Bonilla says she hopes her community can move on from what she calls senseless violence.
“This is a place where people come and relax, they’ve already worked their whole life, now they want to be in peace…these things should not happen,” Bonilla said.
Breck appeared in court Friday morning. The judge did not set bail.
The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.
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