Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Allen Myron argued with his father-in-law before shooting him dead Friday near Gig Harbor.
Tacoma police know that much, and little more, they said Monday. They say they still don’t know what the argument was about. They say they don’t know why Myron gunned down his wife’s parents, Monty Multanen, 70, and Susan Multanen, 68, both of the Vancouver, Wash., area, before fatally shooting himself.
The times are clear enough; the first shots were fired before 6:47 p.m., moments before a 911 call came from a neighbor who found Susan Multanen outside the house with a gunshot wound. The last shot came at 9:44 p.m., inside the house at 10058 58th Ave. N.W. Police believe it was the shot Myron fired at himself.
They don’t know whether Myron used his duty-issued gun to kill his in-laws, or one of the other three weapons found near his body, or one of the other weapons found throughout the house. Ballistics will provide the answer.
His marriage might have been rocky; but Myron didn’t kill his wife, Sara. He might have been depressed about a long recovery from an on-the-job injury; but he didn’t say so.
If Myron wrote a suicide note, police haven’t discovered it. At best, they’re following a scanty trail to his motive.
“He obviously had stressors in his life, but we’re trying to pinpoint exactly what it is,” police spokeswoman Gretchen Aguirre said.
Details of the shooting and Myron’s actions continued to emerge slowly Monday. Tacoma police are handling the investigation on behalf of the sheriff’s department. Answers remain elusive.
“There are probably some things that will never be known,” Sheriff Paul Pastor said Monday.
Myron worked half of his last shift on Thursday or Friday, called in sick and went home, Pastor said. Investigators are still tracking down the precise details.
His service record, marked by commendations, includes a reprimand for lack of courtesy in 2004, Pastor said.
There are no signs of prior domestic violence in his household, aside from an incident in 2008: Myron and his wife reported themselves as victims. One of their four children had gotten out of hand. The incident was resolved the same night with law enforcement assistance.
One key witness was still too traumatized to interview Monday.
Myron’s 15-year-old daughter was in the Gig Harbor-area house with an unidentified male friend at the time of the shootings. Myron ordered both teens into the basement of the house and later agreed to release them to police who responded to the crime scene.
Police haven’t interviewed the daughter yet, Aguirre said. They intend to, as soon as she is able. The male friend did not see the shootings, Aguirre said.
The same goes for Sara Myron. Police have spoken to her, but they intend to do so again. She was not at home at the time of the shootings. Police have not said where she was.
“It was a traumatic incident, so a lot of the interviews are very small initially,” Aguirre said. “We try to follow up with further interviews down the line.”
Sara Myron has not spoken publicly. In online postings on a website devoted to fitness and dieting, she spoke of money problems, troubles losing weight and her husband’s apparent mockery of her efforts.
“My marriage is crumbling around me,” she wrote last November. “Nearly 24 years and at a standstill. Many misunderstandings, emotional abuse, no support of my efforts to lose weight.”
Monday, police released a partial chronology of the incident. There were few new details, but one stood out. Police say Monty Multanen had been shot in the driveway of the home, then moved into the garage.
“Allen Myron had made attempts to conceal evidence of the crime,” police said in a written statement.
Though Myron spoke with sheriff’s deputies and police during the standoff, police have not disclosed specifics of the conversations. Aguirre said Monday she didn’t know them.
Along with freeing the children, Myron agreed to let an officer come into the garage and check on Monty Multanen. Police are looking at cell phones, computers and other sources of evidence, Aguirre said.
At a news conference Monday, Pastor expressed “disgust and contempt” for Myron’s actions, calling him, “a man who wore badge and protected people but then stepped over the line and went from being a protector to a criminal.
“I believe this should be called exactly what it is,” he said. “You will not hear me use the word tragedy. You will hear me use the word murders. These were murders.”
Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486 sean.robinson @thenewstribune.com