The man who shot and killed his ex-girlfriend Wednesday at the Fort Lewis Post Exchange had been accused of domestic violence in the past, according to Pierce County Superior Court records.
Lafayette Meminger’s now ex-wife requested and received two domestic violence protection orders, and an anti-harassment order against her husband between 1994 and 2002.
Fort Lewis officials on Thursday said Meminger, a Lakewood resident and retired Army sergeant who worked as a security guard at Western State Hospital, was the man who gunned down 33-year-old Sharlona White late Wednesday morning before turning the gun on himself.
Meminger, 59, died of his wounds later that day.
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White’s relatives said Meminger had threatened her following their break-up six or seven months ago.
In 2002, Meminger’s wife of 30 years, Loretta Meminger, filed for a protection order against her husband, saying he had threatened to kill her and had previously stalked her.
“In 1994, you arrested him for stalking and harassing me,” she wrote in the petition for the protection order. “He was dangerous then and I feel he is even more dangerous now.”
A similar protection order was granted in 1998, but both times they expired when Loretta Meminger didn’t appear in court to seek an extension.
She also sought an anti- harassment order against her husband in 1994, according to court records. Those documents have been archived and were not readily available.
On Thursday, White’s relatives gathered at her mother’s house to comfort each other.
“This is like we got terrorized as a family, “ said Randy Stevenson, the victim’s brother. “We can’t even fathom it.”
White graduated from Foss High School in 1994.
Twelve years later, she opened a clothing store in Fife called ZnZ Wear – named for her two children, Zeunna and Zaron. Last year, she moved it to University Place, in addition to running a kiosk at the Fort Lewis Post Exchange and selling merchandise at festivals such as Tacoma’s Freedom Fair.
She also helped with a Boys & Girls Clubs fashion show, sold necklaces from a family in Uganda and would take pictures of soldier’s families to send to them abroad.
“She was such a fun-loving person, and she loved to give back to her community,” Stevenson said.
Last month, a family member died of a heart attack, and White decided to help her family become healthy.
She started a contest called “Fun to be Fit” to help others lose weight.
Her 10-year-old son, Zaron, recalled that White, who was 5-feet-1, would go out trick-or-treating with her children on Halloween.
“She used to make everyone laugh with weird jokes,” the boy said.
Meminger’s adult son, Maurice Meminger, told KIRO-TV on Thursday that his condolences went out to White’s family, especially her children. He told the station that his father was a good and generous man who had proudly served his country.
White’s family is planning a memorial service for her.
Brian Everstine: 253-597-8374