Motive in Pierce Co. deputy murder-suicide not known

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by TRICIA MANNING-SMITH / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Updated Saturday, May 15 at 7:50 PM

GIG HARBOR, Wash. - Detectives are still trying to figure out what lead up to a double murder-suicide involving a Pierce County deputy.

Deputy Allen Myron, 49, is accused of fatally shooting his wife's parents, then holding a SWAT team at bay for hours before ultimately killing himself.

The Seattle Times reports that the victims are Monty, 70, and Sue Multanen, 68.

Officers say the killings happened while Myron's own teenage daughter was home.

"There was a daughter, who is 15, and another unrelated family member that was a teenager also … they were able to get out on their own," said Detective Gretchen Aguirre, Tacoma Police Dept.

The deputy's wife and three other children were not at home at the time of the shootings and are safe, according to Aguirre.

The Times reports that property records show the house is owned by Allen and Sara Myron. According to a website for Sara's catering business, she lives in Gig Harbor with her husband and their four children.

On Saturday afternoon, a friend of the family brought flowers, hoping to comfort Myron's 15-year-old daughter, who may have witnessed the murders of her grandparents.

"They were a really good family, they were Christian, they all got along it seemed like, it was really shocking," said the girl.

Tacoma Police investigators still do not know what sparked the violence that lead to Myron killing his in-laws just before 7 p.m. Friday. The mother-in-law reported crawled out of the house and into the woods, and died en route to the hospital. Deputies later found the father-in-law's body inside the home. 

Officers are not sure who called 911, but when officers arrived, Myron held them off - his own fellow deputies - in an hours-long standoff. Tacoma police and other departments provided backup.  But at about 9:45 p.m., hours of negotiations failed.

"They heard a gunshot, they cleared the scene. It was actually about ten to two when the deputy was discovered in the upstairs bedroom. He was deceased from a gunshot wound, self-inflicted, yes," said Aguirre.

A police spokesperson does not know if Myron used his service weapon to commit the crimes, but she says officers discovered Myron barricaded in an upstairs bedroom with multiple weapons nearby and more weapons in other areas of the home.

Police say Myron's wife and three other children were not home at the time and are all safe.

Tacoma Police are leading the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest within the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

This is the second time in seven years that an officer has killed a family member in Gig Harbor.

In April 2003, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame shot and his estranged wife, then himself, in a Gig Harbor strip mall parking lot.

Brame later died at the hospital. His wife Crystal died a week later.

Their children were in David Brame's car at the time of that shooting.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence there is help available 24-hours a day. The Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-827-8840.

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