Gig Harbor neighborhood in shock after deadly shooting involving two neighbors

A neighborhood in Gig Harbor is left in shock after a deadly shooting this weekend involving two of their neighbors.

“Diane, yeah lovely, lovely woman,” said Beth Johnson. “She was just always out walking, always stopped and talked to you. She was just really the best neighbor you could have.”

Johnson and her husband have lived in the community for more than 30 years and live just a few houses down from where the shooting happened on Valley View Drive NW.

“I heard pop and then a pause, and then pop-pop-pop-pop and then I don’t know how many more, but at least three or four,” said Johnson, who has no doubt those were the sound of gun shots ringing on Saturday.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received multiple calls on Saturday night that reported a friend/relative had told them he shot his neighbor.

Deputies responded to the 76-year-old victim’s home where they found her dead with gunshot injuries.

The 58-year-old male suspect was not home, but was located and arrested later that night in North Tacoma with the help of the Tacoma Police Department and Ruston Police Department.

Detectives investigating the homicide learned that the suspect was contacted by mental health co-responders prior to the homicide, and deputies were dispatched to the home Saturday afternoon on the day of the homicide.

“I think there was no doubt he was starting to have mental health issues,” said Johnson. “I do know that his family had moved out and he has felt very isolated with Covid – and [a neighbor] overheard him saying that he felt like the birds were his only friends and that someone was trying to kill them.”

On Sunday, the suspect remained in custody at the Pierce County Jail and will be formally charged in court with first degree murder.