Docs: Vancouver shooting spurred by feud over caregiver

Clark County

One died and two others were hurt in the shooting

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Court documents indicate Vancouver shooting suspect Robert Breck killed a man after an ongoing feud involving his caretaker and he “couldn’t take it anymore.”

Police said Breck, 80, shot three people in the lobby of the Smith Tower Apartments and then barricaded himself in his apartment for hours. The victims are 75-year-old Dean Tunstall, a 73-year-old woman and a 44-year-old woman.

Vancouver shooting suspect Robert Breck made his first court appearance on Friday, October 4, 2019. (KOIN)

Court documents say Breck got off the elevator, confronted the man in the lobby and shot him in the chest.

Then he shot the women before running back onto the elevator and to his apartment.

The older woman told police she was scared and thought she was going to die. The younger woman felt pain in her back and fell to the floor. She called 911 after Breck left the lobby.

Audio: As the Smith Tower Apartment shooting unfolds

After a two-hour standoff and the evacuation of dozens of senior residents, Breck was taken into custody without incident.

According to court documents, during his arrest, Breck told officers he had a “feud” with the male victim and he “couldn’t take it anymore.”

A suspect is in custody after a shooting at Smith Tower in Vancouver. (KOIN)

“They had a little gripe going for quite a while and I think Bob just got tired of it,” Breck’s friend Jonny Moffey told KOIN 6 News.

The man died at the scene.

The two surviving victims were taken to the hospital. One has since gone home.

The women spoke to investigators and explained some of the circumstances that led to the shooting. Surveillance video from the Smith Tower lobby corroborated their accounts.

According to court documents, the women are Breck’s neighbor and her caregiver, who had also worked for Breck. The caregiver told police Breck offered her money to be his mistress and she refused, so he fired her.

An active shooter wounded at least 3 people at the Smith Tower Apartments in Vancouver, October 3, 2019 (KOIN)

The caregiver was also working for Breck’s neighbor, who said Breck was spreading rumors about the caregiver and the male victim around the apartment community.

According to the neighbor’s account of the feud, she confronted Breck and asked him to stop spreading rumors. She also warned the male victim that she heard Breck may be carrying a gun.

Breck made his first court appearance Friday morning. Prosecutors asked that he be held without bail, claiming he is a danger to the community. His arraignment is scheduled for October 10.

Read the probable cause document:

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