Family devastated after Belfair murder-suicide



MASON COUNTY, Wash. - Five people are dead, including a suspect, after an hours-long standoff in Mason County between authorities and a man who claimed he shot his family.  

On Saturday, Mason County Coroner Wes Stockwell released the identity of the shooter and three of the four victims.

Key developments: 

  • Call prompted welfare check at home in Belfair, Wash.
  • Sheriff's deputies found man who said he shot wife and kids
  • Four bodies, including wife & two sons, found in chicken coop
  • Police used tear gas to get man outside
  • Man shot, killed himself in front of deputies
  • One child, 12-year-old girl, escaped 

Learning about the family

The shooter was 51-year-old David Wayne Campbell, of Belfair. Three of the victims were identified as Lana J. Carlson, 49, Quinn Carlson, 16, and Tory Carlson, 18.

Tory Carlson was a culinary arts student at Bremerton's Olympic College.

A friend of Tory's from school, Marlene Lucille, shared photographs on her Facebook page, writing: "Tory was an amazing person!!! He was an aspiring chef that wanted nothing more than to go work for himself to help provide for his family. He has a kind soul and made friends with everyone he came in contact with."

Patrick Johnstad, Lana Carlson's brother, struggled to retain his composure Saturday with members of his grieving family by his side.

"This shocked all of us just as much as it did the community," he said.

Johnstad described Lana as a generous person who cared about everyone she met.

"She didn't care who you were," said Johnstad. "She would love you no matter what. She didn't care what your color was. How tall you were or what you were missing, it didn't matter. She loved everyone equally. She was a great woman."

The Mason County sheriff says Lana's husband, David Wayne Campbell, called them Friday morning. 

He said he had killed four people in his family and that he had a gun to his own head. 

Johnstad said they never saw the tragedy coming.
"As far as we knew," he said. "[Lana] was happy."

Olympic College released a statement offering their sympathies to all affected by the tragic loss of life. 

"Tory was passionate about the culinary field and had plans to partner with his mom to operate a food truck," said Culinary Arts Professor Christopher Plemmons. "He was a very kind student. He cared about his classmates and his classmates cared about him."

The fourth victim in Belfair will not be identified until next of kin is notified.

A 12-year-old girl escaped from the rural home after what the sheriff called a "horrific tragedy." 

What we know about the shootout 

Authorities first reported that the man called 911 at 9:37 a.m. Friday, saying he shot his wife and children and was holding a gun to his head.

Mason County Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling clarified how authorities were notified of the shooting. He says the gunman called an officer he had dealt with in the past.

A welfare check was requested. 

Mid-standoff, the sheriff's office said a child was taken from outside the house alive after she escaped. Authorities initially said she was taken to the hospital for evaluation. 

KIRO 7 Chopper video showed someone being led to an ambulance, but it's unclear if it was the child.

See photos from the scene here.

Authorities negotiated with the man for about three hours before a SWAT team entered the home near Belfair, about 25 miles southwest of Seattle, and found the people dead.

Four bodies were found in a chicken coop outside of the home.

The suspect came outside, after tear gas was used by police, and shot himself in front of law enforcement officials around 1 p.m.


“It’s a terrible tragedy,” said Sheriff Casey Salisbury. “It’s just as tragic I think for law enforcement and the emergency service workers that are up there as well.”

Friday's incident is being called being called the worst mass killing in the area in more than 80 years.

The child who escaped is related to the victims, according to The Associated Press.

Deputy Spurling says the girl who survived was taken to a hospital for an evaluation Friday. 

Neighbor Jack Pigott told The Associated Press that the couple who lived in the house had been married for four to five years. He says the wife had two teenage sons who were adopted from Russia during a previous marriage. She also had a daughter who was adopted from China.

Pigott says the husband had a heating and air conditioning contractor business.

Neighbors heard gunshots the night before

One woman told KIRO 7 News she heard “lots of shooting” on Thursday night.

Pigott told The Associated Press that he also heard gunfire Thursday night but none Friday.

A woman identified as a family friend rushed to the scene telling investigators her husband had just visited the home last night. She left without speaking to reporters.

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