Two people were fatally shot at Rockwood Cancer Treatment Center in the Deaconess Hospital complex Tuesday morning. Early reports indicated a man shot his wife and then himself, police said.
The medical center is located near Downtown Spokane, along West 5th and Monroe. Authorities said an employee called 911 to report the shooting around 9:30 a.m. Witnesses said the man walked into a lab area with what looked like a pistol and ambushed the woman. Witnesses said they heard six shots fired. They described the killing as 'cold' and 'targeted.' The shooting was reportedly carried out 'execution'-style.
The woman was killed instantly, authorities said. Life-saving measures were performed on the man but he died in the emergency room, officials added.
Police said the shooting appeared to be domestic violence-related. The female victim worked at the hospital, according to authorities. People who knew the victim indicated she was getting a restraining order against her husband because of threats and other problems. Her coworkers said she was afraid of him . Authorities said the couple did have children. The children were reported to be safe and in the care of family members Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities said the suspect had a history of mental illness and was recently involved in a run-in with law enforcement.
Investigators said the shooting was isolated to the seventh floor. Authorities said there were employees, but no patients, present when the shooting happened. Police shut down the area where the shooting occurred. Otherwise, access to the building was not restricted, officials said.
The witness also said they were in the exam rooms for about 20 minutes before they were given the all-clear to leave.
Investigators began speaking with friends and relatives of the couple. Meanwhile, a tow truck arrived at the medical center to remove the suspect's vehicle, which had been parked in the complex's parking garage. Major Crimes detectives began processing the suspect and victim's vehicles.
Spokane Police Chaplains responded to the scene and assisted with grief counseling following the incident.