Accused Smith Tower killer, 80, dies at hospital


Robert Breck accused of killing 1, wounding 2 at the Vancouver apartments

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 80-year-old accused killer in the Smith Tower Apartment shooting in Vancouver last October has died in custody.

Robert Breck was accused of the murder of Dean Tunstall in the lobby of the Smith Tower Apartments along with 2 counts of attempted murder for shooting a pair of women.

Tunstall, 75, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest from a revolver. Breck was accused of shooting Tunstall and the women in the lobby of the Vancouver apartments on the afternoon of October 3, then barricaded himself in an apartment on a higher floor within the building.

After 3 hours of crisis negotiation, police arrested Breck without further incident.

The Smith Tower Apartments shooting suspect Robert Breck is led to a patrol car after his arrest on October 3, 2019. (KOIN)

Court documents indicated Breck killed Tunstall after an ongoing feud involving his caretaker and he “couldn’t take it anymore.” Breck got off the elevator, confronted the man in the lobby and shot him in the chest.

Then he shot the women — 73 and 44 at the time of the shooting — before running back onto the elevator and to his apartment.

Vancouver shooting victim Dean Tunstall just hours before his death on October 3, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

At his arraignment, Breck pleaded not guilty and told the judge he didn’t want to post bail.

His trial was tentatively scheduled for May 2020.

On February 5, Breck was taken to an area hospital and died February 11 of natural causes, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said. His family was aware of his condition.

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