TACOMA, Wash. - An intense search for a gunman who Tacoma police officers said shot and killed his Ruston neighbor ended hours later in a suicide.
According to eyewitnesses, the shooter, 51-year-old Mike Dillon, walked out of his house Thursday night, went next door, and shot Frank Rossiter Jr. multiple times with a handgun.
Neighbors of a Tacoma man who police said fatally shot his neighbor Thursday night said Dillon constantly threatened residents and was mentally unstable. He was also known as someone who often lashed out at people living near him.
“He’d always mention this guy in this gray house and he’d make homophobic remarks about him, about how he wasn’t too fond of him, basically,” said neighbor Jason Jones.
Police said the incident was not a hate crime, and the victim was not gay.
“He was a nutcase. Plain and simple," said Mike Keblbek, a friend of Rossiter. “He was a rough and tough, and he was always thought he was a badass and all that kind of stuff.”
Neighbors said Dillon then went to another house nearby and rang John Evans’ doorbell.
"The only thing that was going on in my mind was, ‘I’ve got to stop this guy bare-handed,'” he said.
Evans’ fiancée and twin 1-year-olds were in the other room.
Dillon eventually left, police said.
“I mean, it seemed like he was evil, like he was filled with hatred,” Evans said.
According to Tacoma police, the shooter drove to Gig Harbor, where he reportedly told some friends he had done something bad.
Police found Dillon dead in his car. He had shot himself, they said.
“He was very concerned about everything that was going on around him, he was described [as concernced about] everything that was going on around him, he was described as paranoid,” said Loretta Cool of the Tacoma Police Department.
Authorities are working to find out what led to the shooting.