VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Authorities have identified the man arrested and accused of killing one person and shooting two others at a downtown Vancouver apartment building Thursday.
Eighty-year-old Robert Breck was a resident of the Smith Tower Apartment building, which is specifically for seniors ages 62 and older. When officers found him, he was inside his apartment and had initially refused to come out. After almost 3 hours of crisis negotiation, Breck was taken into custody without incident.
Vancouver police announced the arrest around 4:30 p.m. as they also confirmed that one of the victims had died. The identities of the victims have not yet been released.
Video from the scene showed Breck in handcuffs being escorted by police out of the Smith Tower Apartments on Washington Street at the intersections of 5th and 6th streets, where police responded to the shooting shortly after 2 p.m.
Breck was booked into the Clark County Jail on charges of murder and attempted murder.
KOIN 6 News spoke with Johnny Moffey, a resident who identified himself as a friend of Breck’s. He said that one of the people shot had personal issues with the suspect.
“He doesn’t bother anybody, but this one particular person he said was harassing him, and I know how that is,” said Moffey about the suspect. “That’s all I can say.”
Vancouver firefighters said two people were taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
Following Breck’s arrest, SWAT conducted a final sweep on the building to ensure that everyone was safely evacuated. Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, residents were allowed to return to their apartments.
A witness told KOIN 6 News they saw many officers with guns and shields. Others reported seeing officers tackle someone and someone being carried out and laid on the ground.
Vancouver’s Mayor, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, made the following statement while the suspect was still self-barricaded in the Smith Tower Apartments:
“While we are still learning about what happened surrounding the shooting incident this afternoon in downtown Vancouver, our hearts go out to the victims and their families as they deal with this tragedy. 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.”
Vancouver’s Major Crimes unit will be continuing the investigation. Police said they do not know what led up to the shooting Thursday afternoon.
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