Federal Way

Shock turns to grief after deadly Federal Way rampage

Shock turns to grief after deadly Federal Way rampage
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Memorials are growing outside the Federal Way apartment complex where a Sunday night firefight left five people dead.

The local community has moved from a state of shock to one of grief after the deadly rampage, as it becomes increasingly clear that three of the victims are those who tried to help or who were simply nearby.

Police say the shooting spree began about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when Dennis Clark, 28, shot and killed his girlfriend in the unit where they lived together at Pinewood Apartments. He then murdered three other people before he was shot to death by police as he was reaching for a weapon.

Family members say the 24-year old victim had been dating Clark for five years and would have celebrated a birthday next month. They don't want her last name known, but they say her first name was Justine.

Jimi Mack lives in the building and his apartment was sprayed with 12 bullets in the rampage.

"I hear gunshots real close and I thought, 'Wow, that guy's in Roland's apartment cause the gunshots are too close," Mack said.

Mack locked his door and looked out the peep hole.

"I see the guy coming out reloading his gun," he said. "He walks upstairs I know I hear more gunshots."

Mack is convinced Clark wanted him dead, but Mack insists God had other plans.

More than 24 hours after the violent shooting rampage, police tape that roped off three crime scenes is gone. Now three memorials remain.

Friends stop by to acknowledge that a soundtrack of chirping would have pleased a 62-year-old veteran known as "Bird Man," who was shot and killed during the massacre.

"He was nosey but the good kind of nosey," says former neighbor Ronald Brown. "He'd look out for the people who lived inside these apartments."

That urge to help is what spurred him into action Sunday night. Police say he tried to call 911 when he heard that Clark had shot and killed his girlfriend in a nearby apartment.

Clark blasted open the man's door with a shotgun, firing twice and killing the veteran.

Police say Clark also shot and killed two men who were downstairs in the parking lot - in an effort to eliminate any witnesses.

Sylvia Valdovinos had hope her son wasn't one of the victims. But those hopes were dashed when police announced her 23-year-old son - a father to a 1-year-old child - had been killed during the rampage.

On Tuesday, she and her family came to the place where he died - to lay flowers and to grieve.

"I just have a small hope that he's not there, but his car's here," says Sylvia. "He was vey kind-hearted and loving with his sisters and me."

Valdovino is the only victim the medical examiner has identified. The names of the three other victims - including Clark's girlfriend - have not been officially released.