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Family of murdered Tacoma security guard 'devastated,' suspect in custody

A security guard arriving for their shift found their co-worker dead Sunday morning.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Police Department arrested a 26-year-old male for the alleged killing of a security guard over the weekend.

Detectives were able to identify the suspect and arrested him for investigation of first-degree murder.

The 41-year-old security guard was found dead Sunday morning with "evident signs of trauma" in downtown. Family members identified the woman as Denise Smith.

South Sound 911 received a call around 6 a.m. Sunday. When police arrived at the building along Ninth Street, a security guard told officers they found their co-worker unresponsive.

Tacoma Fire pronounced the person dead at the scene. 

Family members told KING 5 Smith was working in the building for two days before her death.

Smith was a long-time Tacoma resident, according to her family. Her sister, Tina, described her as sweet, kind and someone who kept to herself. 

Tina said she is frustrated about how things are being handled.

"I'm a little devastated and upset about what's going on and the way things are being handled, being that everything is in the press and everything is out there and we're the last to know," she said.

The family is now awaiting answers. 

"We really don't know much of anything. Still just holding on and waiting on them to get back with me, and I would like to know a little more than what I know," she said.

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