05/17/2010

Wash. deputy takes own life after killing in-laws

SWAT members found Allen Myron dead after a six-hour standoff

The Associated Press

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — A sheriff's deputy accused of fatally shooting his wife's parents was found dead in his Gig Harbor, Wash., home early Saturday, after an hours-long standoff with police, authorities said.

SWAT team members reported that 49-year-old Pierce County Deputy Allen Myron was dead when they entered the house more than six hours after the standoff began, Tacoma police Detective Gretchen Aguirre told The Associated Press.

The SWAT team surrounding the house heard a single gunshot around 10 p.m. Friday, but did not enter the house at that time, Aguirre said. Myron's body was discovered shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.

Aguirre said she didn't know how Myron died.

The Oregonian newspaper in Portland reported Saturday the in-laws were Monty and Susan Multanen.

Monty Multanen served as director of career and vocational education for the Oregon Department of Education in the 1980s and worked for the state until the early 1990s, before moving to Washington, his son, Eric Multanen, told The Oregonian.

Two of Myron's children had been trapped in the house but managed to escape during the early part of the siege. Myron's wife was not present during the shooting, Aguirre said.

It wasn't immediate clear what touched off the violence, but the mother-in-law called 911 at 6:48 p.m. Friday, then crawled out of the house and into nearby woods, Tacoma's News Tribune reported. She had been wounded and died after being flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Police negotiators rushed to the scene, about 25 miles southwest of Seattle, along with the SWAT team and other law enforcement personnel. Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said the body of the father-in-law was in the house.

Myron, an 11-year sheriff's department veteran, had been on medical light duty for a year and a half and was cleared to come back to work three months ago, Troyer said, adding he did not have more details.

Tacoma police were handling the investigation because it involves a Pierce County officer. The house is located in a quiet, wooded neighborhood near the entrance to Kopachuck State Park.

Dana Malich, who lives behind the deputy's family, told The Seattle Times that she "heard a loud bang from the house behind" before 7 p.m. Friday but "didn't think anything of it." She called Myron "a good person."

Neighbor Weldon Wilson, a retired state trooper, said whenever he saw Myron, the two would talk about law enforcement. "He seemed like a pretty squared-away guy," Wilson told the Times.

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