Seattle police say they still don’t know led 60-year-old grandmother Saroeun Phan to fatally shoot three family members before taking her own life in her shared West Seattle home yesterday afternoon.
“We’re scratching our heads on this one too,” Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said at a press briefing at SPD headquarters this afternoon.
According to Pugel, Phan “did not say a single word when she came out of the bedroom and came downstairs” before opening fire on family members, with a .25 caliber Beretta and 9mm Taurus handgun.
Phan’s family has said she was struggling with schizophrenia and depression.
At least 20 shots were fired in the incident, according to Pugel, and police are now “trying to determine the source of these weapons.”
Police say the guns were not stolen, but did not say who the weapons were registered to. Pugel acknowledged that tracing weapons from their original point of sale can sometimes prove difficult. One person has apparently told police the guns belonged to Phan.
Police say Phan fatally shot two granddaughters, 14 and 17 years old, and her 43-year-old son-in-law, and wounded her 42-year-old daughter, who is expected to survive.
A 7-year-old girl and two adults, who were in the home at the time of the shooting, survived by jumping out a window. As many as three families were living in the small three-bedroom home in the 9400 block of 14th Avenue Southwest.
The family had only been living in the home for a month and a half, and Pugel said police had not previously been called to the home.
During the briefing, Pugel took a moment to commend Sgt. Tony Baily for helping to control the chaos at scene, slowing down officers’ movements in an attempt to keep them out of the line of fire.
Pugel himself was on-scene as the incident came to a tragic close. “I was there when the last two shots were fired,” Pugel said. “You could hear the pops.”