PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the holidays just around the corner, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a second deadly domestic violence incident in just two days.
Tragedy struck again in Southwest Washington Thursday after CCSO said a 73-year-old woman died and her 78-year-old husband remains in critical condition, following a suspected murder-suicide attempt in Washougal.
Sergeants told KOIN 6 News they believe the initial 9-1-1 call came from inside the house off Southeast Sunset View Road and Evergreen Highway just after 1 p.m.
But after the caller reported hearing shots and told the dispatch he was going to investigate, law enforcement says the male caller would not be reached again –prompting CCSO, the Washougal Police Department, and The Camas Police Department to investigate.
But once at the home, Sergeant Chris Skidmore with CCSO said they knew something had gone wrong.
“They quickly determined by looking through one of the windows that it looked like someone was down on the ground and that someone was slumped over at a kitchen counter,” He told KOIN 6 News. “So, they made entry into the house and found a female lying on the ground who had an apparent gunshot wound to the head and a male who was slumped over in a chair at the counter who had an apparent gunshot wound to the head as well.”
Still breathing, Skidmore said law enforcement and first responders provided aid to the married couple before transporting them to local trauma hospitals, where Carol later died.
“I was looking out the window, and I noticed through the trees, a lot of emergency lights and honestly I was a little worried about it myself because my wife was supposed to be coming home at about that time,” said neighbor Grant Kenyon.
Having lived in the area for several years he told KOIN 6 News he didn’t know the couple personally, and rarely saw them leave the home.
“The bus depot is right across the street and the elementary school is essentially in those people’s backyard, where all our kids go,” Kenyon continued. “It’s been tough with all the kids coming by on the bus talking about the road being closed, and then fielding those questions about what’s going on. How do you deal with that with small children?”
Thursday’s shooting is the latest in a string of deadly domestic violence incidents to rock Southwest Washington.
The incident comes just one day after the CCSO reported a man shot his wife and baby before turning the gun on himself in the Salmon Creek neighborhood of Vancouver –and less than a week after CCSO said a domestic violence call involving a gun at the Alderbrook Apartments turned into a police pursuit where the alleged suspect reportedly also turned the gun on himself.
“I don’t think anecdotally I have anything to say that there’s been a rise,” Skidmore stated. “But this is definitely weird with yesterday’s and today’s events. Not something that happens here often.”
But despite the rare uptick, Skidmore says incidents like these are not only tragic for the people involved but they impact their families and the surrounding community as well.
“I feel for that family for sure,” he said. “And empathize with having to deal with this as we come into Christmas time – a time where families should be coming together and celebrating each other. And that’s just got to be really tough.”