MONROE – A grandfather shot his grandson in the head Thursday, then shot himself in front of the Monroe police station.
Police officers and firefighters tried to revive the victims, but both died in front of the station.
The grandfather, who was believed to have been 58 to 59 years old, drove in front of the police station and parked about 6:35 p.m.
The boy, between 5 and 7 years old, got out of the vehicle with the grandfather, who placed a suicide note on the vehicle’s windshield before firing an automatic handgun, Monroe Police Chief Tim Quenzer said.
The grandfather fell on top of the boy after pulling the trigger, Quenzer said.
The chief said the suicide note was written like a letter addressed to someone the chief didn’t name. The note offered some insight into the grandfather’s motives, including that he would “take care of things so that the child was taken care of,” Quenzer said.
The note indicated that the grandfather wasn’t able to take care of the boy. “Evidently, he thought this was the way to take care of the child,” the chief said.
The grandparents were in the process of adopting the child, Quenzer said.
“Looking at a little child, it hits doubly hard, since it is a child,” he said. “Any child’s death is traumatic, this one especially because of the way the child dies.”
Police officials didn’t know why the grandfather chose the police station on Main Street in broad daylight to commit the act. The police had no prior run-ins with the man, Quenzer said.
Because it was after 5 p.m., offices were closed at the time of the shooting.
A police department support staff person saw the grandfather and his grandson walking toward the office, then heard gunshots and turned to see the grandfather shoot himself.
Firefighters and responding officers were so shaken that a briefing was planned with a department chaplain, the chief said.
“This doesn’t just affect the victims, it also affects the emergency response people – a lot of them have kids the same age,” the chief said.
The two victims live near Monroe, but the grandfather was carrying identification from Texas. The chief believes the boy’s biological parents are in Texas.
There was evidence that the man was being treated for mental health problems because of medication prescribed in his name, Quenzer said.
Another police department staff member heard the shots and came out to see what had happened, then radioed for help.
A black screen or tarp about 100 feet long was strung up from the entrance to City Hall across the parking lot to block off the crime scene.
The boy was registered with the Monroe School District, but it was uncertain if he had attended school.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@ heraldnet.com.