UPDATE (Oct. 4, 1 p.m. PT) – A Vancouver, Washington, man accused of killing one person and injuring two others Thursday at a senior living facility downtown will remain in jail without bail.
At a court appearance Friday morning, a prosecutor said 80-year-old Robert Breck is a “substantial danger to the community” and should remain in custody. He faces one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
His next court appearance will be Oct. 10.
Breck is accused of shooting a man and two women in the lobby of Vancouver’s Smith Tower on Thursday afternoon. Hospital officials say the two women will recover from their injuries.
Breck, a resident of the senior living facility, briefly barricaded himself in his apartment before surrendering to the police.
In probable cause documents, Vancouver Police Detective Jason Mills wrote Breck confessed to shooting and killing Dean Tunstall because of an ongoing dispute. Breck reportedly told Mills that he “couldn’t take it anymore” and shot Tunstall.
According to the surviving victims in the case — a resident of Smith Tower and her caretaker — they were sitting in the lobby speaking to Tunstall when Breck emerged from the elevator and shot Tunstall in the chest.
The resident told police Breck then shot her and her caretaker before fleeing the lobby. The resident said her caretaker had previously worked for Breck but was fired after the caretaker refused to become his “mistress.”
The caretaker reportedly continued to work for the female resident, who was neighbors with Breck. The resident said Breck also began to spread rumors to other men at Smith Tower that the female caretaker was going into Tunstall’s room without his permission.
Tunstall allegedly denied the allegations and said he did not know the caretaker, according to police reports.
The resident told police she confronted Breck the day before the shooting and told him to stop spreading rumors.
The caretaker said when Breck appeared in the lobby on the day of the shooting, he started yelling and said Tunstall had lied and did know who the caretaker was.
The caretaker called 911 after Breck fled the scene of the shooting.
During Breck’s intake into jail, officers said he did not have any observable physical or mental health issues.
Breck’s ex-wife Janet Petersen told OPB he had always been a little paranoid and that his paranoia had caused issues at Smith Tower. A staff member at the facility declined to comment when contacted by phone.
Petersen said Breck used to own multiple firearms, but that she and her daughter both thought he had gotten rid of them. Petersen said Breck had been in declining health and relied on caretakers and assistance for most daily activities.
It’s unlikely, she said, that he bought a new firearm recently.