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An 80-year-old man shot 75-year-old neighbor because of feud involving caretaker, police say


The 80-year-old man accused of killing a male neighbor and wounding two women Thursday at an apartment building for seniors in Vancouver, Washington, told detectives he had a feud with the other man and “couldn’t take it anymore,” according to court documents.

One of the women who was shot, 44-year-old Shawna L. Garris, told police she was sitting in the lobby of the high-rise apartment building with the other victims when Robert “Bob” Breck came in and began screaming at Dean Tunstall, 75, according to a probable cause declaration filed by the officer that arrested Breck.

Garris, a caretaker, told police that Breck said Tunstall was lying about knowing her, the court documents say.

Garris said she was Breck’s caretaker for a year but was fired when she wouldn’t accept his offer to be his mistress, according to the court documents. She is now the caretaker for the second woman who was shot, Enilia Montoya, 73.

In the probable cause declaration, police say Breck was interviewed by Clark County detectives and that he told them he wanted a lawyer before telling the detectives that he had a feud with Tunstall, who he admitted shooting. Reminded that he had asked for an attorney Breck then said, “he had shot (Tunstall) due to an ongoing feud and ‘couldn’t take it anymore,'” according to the declaration.

Breck’s attorney, Renee Alsept, told CNN she had no comment.

Breck appeared in court Friday morning. He is being held without bail. His bail hearing will be held Tuesday and his arraignment where he will be formally charged is scheduled for next Thursday, according to the Clark County Superior Court.

He is accused of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

The shooting incident led to a nearly three-hour standoff and started when police responded to a call of a shooting about 2 p.m. local time Thursday at the Smith Tower Apartments in Vancouver.

When officers arrived at the complex, they found three people with gunshot wounds in the lobby. One man was dead and two female victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Breck returned to his apartment after opening fire in the lobby and refused to leave, police spokeswoman Kim Capp said.

A crisis negotiation team came in while officers and SWAT members evacuated other residents, police said.

About 4:45 p.m., Breck was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into the Clark County jail on one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, police said.

Tragedy hits a tight-knit community

Smith Tower is a senior housing complex made up of 170 homes, and is home to people ages 62 and older, its website says. Some of the residents witnessed the shooting and were ushered to city hall to provide statements.

Residents described the terrifying moment officers knocked on their doors and ordered them to evacuate.

“When I opened the door, there was two officers with two guns,” Trish Gatley told CNN affiliate KPTV. “And they said just stay quiet, put your hands up and go downstairs, don’t go on to any of the floors.”

After the evacuation order was lifted and residents returned home, Heather Branchflower stared at the yellow tape outside the community she described as quiet and tight-knit.

“I don’t believe it,” Branchflower told the affiliate. “I just don’t believe something like that could happen here, it’s unimaginable.”

Residents were cleared to return to their homes at 7 p.m. local time. Police are investigating the shooter’s motive.

“While we are still learning about what happened surrounding the shooting incident … our hearts go out to the victims and their families as they deal with this tragedy,” Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said. “I commend our police officers, fire and EMS personnel who quickly responded to the scene. I have the utmost confidence in our officers as they work to resolve the situation.”

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