85-year-old woman charged with murder in death of roommate

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Dec. 24, 2019 Update: King County prosecutors are charging an 85-year-old woman with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her roommate.

Investigators say Beverly L. Jenne shot Janet Oyuga multiple times, killing her. Investigators say Jenne also shot her other roommate, Angela Atieno, in the back.

The two victims are sisters, and both women are in their 30s.

Court documents filed Christmas Eve say, “Angela told police that she had just come home and, while walking up the stairs, she got shot."

Police say Jenne, the suspect, emptied the revolver she used –, firing all six shots.

“It’s insane, really. It's one of those situations where, you know, given very specific circumstances, you never know what anyone is capable of -, especially given the image of an elderly woman,” said Adrian Cedeira, whose family lives in the neighborhood.

Records show the suspect has lived at the home in the 2000 block of SW 306th Lane in Federal Way for 40 years.

But recently, the house went into foreclosure, and someone bought the home.

Neighbors say the two sisters just moved in last month.

Prosecutors said in court documents, “Despite the fact that the victims … allowed the defendant to remain living there while she looked for alternative housing arrangements so she wouldn’t end up homeless, the defendant clearly harbored significant animosity towards Ms. Oyuga.”

Detectives even found a handwritten note inside Jenne's 1977 Chevrolet Malibu, where the suspect wrote in part:

"She drove me to this. … I think she was getting ready to (e)vict me and I'm 85 and no place to go…."

Documents say the note was signed “Beverly L. Jenne" and dated Dec. 18 at 10:58 p.m. - less than two hours before the deadly shooting.

“Especially around the time for the holidays. Thoughts and prayers to their families because it's unbelievable. I can't even imagine what they might be going through,” Cedeira said.

A pastor for the two sisters said Atieno was still in the hospital at Harborview Medial Center as of Christmas Eve morning.

Jenne’s bail is set at $1 million.

KIRO 7′s previous coverage below:

A shooting in Federal Way has people in the neighborhood calling what happened “bizarre.” Even police are calling it unusual.

Federal Way police say an 85-year-old woman shot both of her roommates, who are women in their 30s, and killed one of them. They’re still working to figure out why the shooting happened.

Neighbors say they heard shouting, then four or five shots fired around 1 a.m. Thursday in the 2000 block of SW 306TH Lane.

“It’s frightening when something like that happens so close,” said Toni Gish, who didn’t hear the gunshots but lives nearby.

Neighbors identify the 85-year-old woman involved as Beverly Jenne. Several people said she’s lived in the same house for nearly 40 years, and called her a “sweet” older woman.

One neighbor said she weighs 97 pounds and that he would help her down the stairs.

What happened has them in disbelief.

Federal Way police say they are still trying to figure out if Jenne shot in self-defense or if she attacked her roommates.

“We’re not going to make a determination on arresting until we can figure out more down the road - to determine if she’s a suspect or victim,” said Cmdr. Kurt Schwan with the Federal Way Police Department.

One of the women was shot in the chest and rushed to Harborview. Another woman died at the scene. Police initially said she died from blunt force trauma, but later said she died from a gunshot wound. The King County Medical Examiner was on scene about 1 p.m. Thursday.

Police initially said Thursday morning that it appeared Jenne was attempting to commit suicide by strangulation after opening fire - but now say new information has them still investigating if that's the case.

“We thought we had a good grasp of the situation when we put out that preliminary information,” Schwan said. “There’s still a lot of questions to be answered right now,” he said.

In video from overnight, you could see an older woman being loaded up into an ambulance. Police said they have not had a chance yet to formally interview her. As of Thursday evening, she was at an area hospital.

Neighbors said in recent months the house was foreclosed and went to auction.

They say the two younger women moved in about a month ago. Online records confirm an investment group bought the home from the bank.

“It's awful, it's really - it always seems more tragic when it's close to a holiday,” Gish said.

Police say the case is so complicated that detectives need to come back to the scene Friday morning to continue the on-site part of the investigation.

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