Woman shot dead, man injured near Olympia

Woman shot dead, man injured near Olympia »Play Video
OLYMPIA, Wash. - A woman was shot dead at a local farm market by a man who then attempted suicide by turning the gun on himself Thursday morning, police and witnesses said.

The shootings at Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm, east of Olympia, left the man, Roy Franco, with critical injuries. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The woman, later identified as Kay Langford, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was an employee at the cider mill, a family-owned farm that sells apple cider, eggs, pies, apple fritters and seasonal fruit and produce.

 Kay Langford
Carolyn Lattin, owner of the business, said Franco was the Langford's ex-boyfriend, but she quit seeing him about two months ago.

"He had sent her flowers last week, and she didn't want anything to do with him. She told me it was over," Lattin said.

Lattin said she and Langford saw Franco coming Thursday morning. Langford tried to get away while Lattin tried to restrain him.

"I tried to grab his arm and his clothing and stop him ... to give her more time to get away. But he was so strong I couldn't hang onto him," Lattin said.

"I was trying to help to stop him so that she could get away, but it just wasn't possible. He jumped over a pallet of product and got to her anyway."

Lattin called the deadly shooting a "terrible, terrible tragedy."

"We'll miss that gal tremendously," she said. "She was a wonderful employee, and she just was a real good gal. ... She was afraid of him, and he was evidently waiting for her this morning in the parking lot."

Lattin said it's a miracle that the man didn't shoot more people.

"He was just intent on doing what he was going to do, and if he wasn't so intent in what he was doing I figure he would have probably shot us, too," she said.

Lattin said a baker and driver were also there at the time. Altogether, the cider mill employs about 25 people.

Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office said gunman fired several shots before hitting the victim.

"He had chased her on foot from these vehicles to the building," Pearsall said. "He fired some shots while chasing her and then shot her inside."

The cider mill, located at 9402 Rich Road SE, is a popular destination for families and schoolchildren.

"So it's very fortunate that there were no other people here today when this occurred," Pearsall said.

Laurie Sanchez, a neighbor, said the family-owned farm operation was the last place anyone would expect a killing to happen.

"How much of a tragedy it is," she said. "It's such a family-oriented place. People bring their kids her to see their animals, the Easter egg hunts, the haunted house. ... Very friendly people here. ... And to have this happen. It's just awful."

"The community is just going to feel on this one," she added. "It's really bad."

Lattin said the Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm's six-week Apple Festival will go on as planned.