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Intruder shot to death - Man had broken into ex-girlfriend's house

by Sean Gillespie
Journal Reporter

KENT -- A man with a history of domestic violence was shot to death after he broke into his ex-girlfriend's home early yesterday.

Kent police say the woman's male companion shot the 37-year-old Kent man after he woke the pair and threatened them with a large butcher knife about 3:15 a.m. The ex-boyfriend broke into the home in the 27300 block of 145th Court Southeast, said Detective Sgt. Mark Gustafson of the Kent Police Department.

A 23-year-old Kent man shot the intruder multiple times with a semi-automatic handgun, which appeared to be legally owned, and then called 911, Gustafson said. The intruder died at the scene. His identity was not released last night pending notification of next of kin.

Neither the shooter nor the woman was injured. Police did not release their names last night.

In the last month, there were four documented police reports of domestic disputes at the home where the shooting occurred. Gustafson said the intruder was kicked out of the home a few weeks ago, and the woman had a restraining order in place against him since then.

``Evidence suggests -- because of the history of domestic violence, the ongoing harassment -- this guy was in a position to harm her and her companion,'' said Gustafson, who stopped short of saying the shooting was justified. ``We haven't evaluated all the evidence yet.''

He said ``all parties have been very cooperative, interviewed, and released.''

The shooter does not have a criminal history, Gustafson said. He apparently had the gun for self-defense.

``There was some concern about ongoing threatening behavior and victim safety issues,'' the investigator said.

Nearby residents said the woman recently moved to the neighborhood, but they were otherwise tight-lipped, declining to comment for privacy reasons.

Sean Gillespie can be reached at or 253-872-6688.

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