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Dispute over caregiver led to shootings at Vancouver senior center, court documents say

The two survivors told investigators that one of them had been the suspect's caretaker, until he asked her to be his paid mistress. When she refused, he fired her.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Thursday shooting in a Vancouver senior center that left one man dead and two women wounded started with a dispute over one of the women, who served at one time as a caregiver for the suspect, according to court records released Friday in Clark County Superior Court.

Robert Breck, 80, appeared in court Friday morning following the shooting in the lobby of the Smith Tower Apartment in downtown Vancouver Thursday afternoon.

Breck is accused of killing Dean L. Tunstall, 75, and wounding Enilia Montoya, 73 and Shawna L. Garris, 44. The women were listed in satisfactory condition Friday morning at a hospital.

Tunstall was declared dead a the scene.

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Credit: KGW
Robert Breck is taken by police from a downtown Vancouver senior center, accused of shooting three people in the lobby.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the dispute between Breck and Tunstall centered on rumors Breck had allegedly spread about Garris.

Thursday afternoon, Garris, Montoya and Tunstall were in the lobby of the Smith Tower when Breck came out of an elevator, confronted Tunstall and shot him at close range, according to court documents.

Breck then shot Montoya, then Garris. The documents did not specify what kind of weapon was used.

Breck went back into the elevator, leaving the three victims lying on the floor.

RELATED: Vancouver shooting suspect identified as 80-year-old man; 1 dead, 2 wounded

The two women told investigators that Garris was Breck's caretaker until he asked her to be his paid mistress, and when she refused, he fired her. Garris was also the caretaker for Montoya, who was Breck's neighbor.

Breck began spreading rumors several weeks ago about Tunstall and Garris to other men at Smith Tower, the women told investigators. Tunstall allegedly told Breck that he did not know Garris at all, and then on Wednesday, Montoya asked Breck to stop spreading rumors.

A day later, the gunfire broke out in the lobby after Breck allegedly confronted Tunstall in the lobby and said he was lying about not knowing Garris.

According to court documents, Breck told investigators that "I shot that guy." He said there was an ongoing dispute and he "couldn't take it anymore."

Breck appeared in court Friday in a suicide smock. He was charged with one count of first degree murder and two counts of first degree attempted murder.

In Breck's jail booking document, boxes were checked that Breck did not resist arrest, showed no signs of mental illness or drug abuse, showed no medical problems and was conscious and aware of the shooting's time and place.

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