4 dead, 1 injured in gruesome rampage across Kennewick, Finley, and West Richland

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. — Tri-Cities law enforcement announced that four people, including one suspect, died on Wednesday morning as part of a deadly rampage and string of fires across Benton County.

During a press conference in front of the West Richland Police Department, Commander Aaron Clem of the Kennewick Police Department provided further details about the string of crimes.

According to Commander Clem, Benton County deputies were first called to a break-in on the 21000 block of E. Finley Rd early on August 25. The reporting party told authorities that the suspect shot his father. Their house and a neighbor’s house were engulfed by flames and the caller saw the suspect run away from the scene of the crime. The neighbor, whose car was missing from the driveway, is considered a suspect.

The caller’s father, who was in the backyard of his home with a gunshot wound, was transported to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. He was later airlifted to a trauma center for additional treatment. No additional details regarding his condition have been revealed.

“Additionally, deputies have located a deceased victim at the fire scene where the shooting occurred,” Clem said.

PREVIOUS: Violent arson spree across Benton County culminates in West Richland shootout

Deputies quickly learned that a vehicle matching the description was at a commercial structure—the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 112 building on Edison St. in Kennewick—where someone was trying to set fire to the building around 4:47 a.m.

Around 7:21 a.m., officers responded to the IBEW Local 112 training building on the 8300-block of W Gage Blvd for another suspicious fire. They determined that someone forced their way into this facility to set another fire.

Shortly after Noon, Kennewick police and firefighters responded to the 4300-block of S Gum St, where two more victims were found dead.

“Preliminary investigation indicated they may be involved in the SIU investigation,” Clem said.

Officers observed the suspect entering West Richland with flames coming from their vehicle. They followed at a safe distance before the suspect vehicle came to a stop on the 4000-block of W Van Giesen St.

RELATED: Police Warning — Avoid W. Van Giesen Street

The vehicle’s sole occupant fired several rounds, which prompted four officers from across the region to fire back. That included a West Richland police officer, a Pasco police officer, and two deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Crews from Benton County Fire District No. 4 extinguished the fire, and officers “were able to confirm the body of one deceased person” inside. Investigators say they are still trying to identify that person, and at this point, they will not say whether the driver was a man or a woman.

The Kennewick Police Department is investigating the S. Gum St. deaths and the IBEW incidents while the Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigates the fire scenes and crimes in Finley. They’re also investigating a line of several spot fires set early Wednesday alongside SR 397 from Finley to Kennewick, along with Benton County Fire District No. 1.

“These active investigations may be connected to the subject of this officer-involved shooting incident and are being conducted independently of the SIU investigation,” Clem said.

If you have information that may help in these cases, contact Sgt. Damon Janson in Richland (djansen@ci.richland.wa.us), Sgt. Jose Santoy in Kennewick (jose.santoy@ci.kennewick.wa.us), Lt. Jason Kiel in Kennewick (jason.kiel@ci,kennewick.wa.us), or Lt. Erik Magnuson with Benton County (erik.magnuson@co.benton.wa.us).

RECENT NEWS HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

RELATED: Kennewick jail offers ‘Soups for Shots’ program aimed at vaccinating inmates