Barbara Decker and her daughter, Janine Shaffer. Decker was stabbed to death Sunday at her home near Snohomish. Shaffer is recovering from her injuries in a local hospital. (Contributed photo)

Barbara Decker and her daughter, Janine Shaffer. Decker was stabbed to death Sunday at her home near Snohomish. Shaffer is recovering from her injuries in a local hospital. (Contributed photo)

Everett man held in carpet-knife attack on 2 women; 1 dead

EVERETT — Mark Glover is trying to understand the unfathomable, why someone would kill his mother and attack his sister.

“I’m having a hard time maintaining — equal rage and grief,” he said Monday.

The attack occurred Sunday in a home his mother, Barbara Decker, 78, shared with his sister, Janine Shaffer, 62, near Snohomish.

A man working on a construction project is suspected of repeatedly stabbing the two east Snohomish County women with a carpet knife Sunday while working at their home, officials said.

The suspect, 31, of Everett, was jailed Monday for investigation of first-degree murder, said Shari Ireton, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m curious to know what would drive a guy to murder my sweet, little, old gray-haired mom,” Glover said.

He spoke to reporters standing outside Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, where his sister is hospitalized with what were described as life-threatening injuries.

Glover said his sister graduated from Monroe High School and volunteers at EvergreenHealth Monroe, helping people with drug and alcohol problems.

She fought off the attacker, he said, adding, “She’s tough as nails.”

Her condition was improving Monday.

“It sounds like she’s doing better,” he said. “I hope she’ll recover and be able to go home.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect’s uncle, 46, had been hired to work on the bathroom at the women’s home. He brought the younger man along to help.

“Both victims were at the house while the work was being done. The suspect is believed to have attacked both women with a carpet knife before fleeing the residence with his uncle,” Ireton said in a press release.

The uncle reportedly told detectives later that his nephew tossed a knife from their car as they left the scene. He dropped the suspect off in Everett. The suspect was arrested a few hours after the attack. The uncle also was booked on outstanding warrants.

Mark Glover, 60, is a former Lynnwood police detective who now works as a nurse and runs a restaurant in Gold Bar with his wife.

He described his mother as someone who never drank or smoked “and was looking forward to a long, happy, healthy, life.”

His mom formerly was an apartment manager in Everett, and “worked long and hard for many years.”

“The idea was that she could retire and be comfortable,” he said.

“That’s what we were hoping for,” he said. “She never had a bad word for anybody.”

His mom liked to bake, he said, and he’d bet she put together a package of cookies or a banana cake for the workers to take home when they finished with the repair project.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

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