'She was strong, fearless:' Family stunned after sister shot in front of Lake Tapps home

Family members say the woman who was shot and killed early Thursday morning in Lake Tapps was 33-year-old Abbie Rupnick.

The shooting happened in front of the victim's home. Rupnick’s family identified her as the victim and asked to share details about her with FOX13 News.

It was after 1 a.m. on Thursday when police were called to a shooting on 60th Street East in Lake Tapps. Deputies detained two people at the scene; a 38-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman, who investigators say told deputies they were Rupnick’s friend.  

The woman was released by detectives, but the man was arrested and booked. He is facing possible charges for second-degree murder and possession of an illegal firearm. Rupnick’s family says they have no idea how the strangers knew their sister.

Rupnick was rushed to the hospital, where she later died. 

Her sisters and brother say Rupnick had turned her life around and a full life ahead of her.

"She was laser-focused," said brother-in-law Thomas Gates. "There was nothing that would distract her."  


Man arrested after woman fatally shot in Lake Tapps

Deputies are investigating a suspicious death after a woman was fatally shot in Lake Tapps overnight.

Rupnick just celebrated her birthday in February. Her sisters and brothers-in-law gathered outside her home Thursday morning, just hours after Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies say she was shot on her own street.

"She really just wanted to succeed at her job," said sister Karlie.  

"She was strong, fearless," her sister Emilie said.  

Rupnick’s family says their sister overcame her own legal struggles. The 33-year-old had been out of prison a number of years. She then purchased a home and recently started a job with local iron workers.

"Abbie was a huge part of our life," Gates said. "We felt like we all owed it to her to tell the story that she was a beautiful and important person, and she got taken from us."

FOX 13 News has identified the man suspected in Rupnick’s murder. His identity is being withheld until he is officially charged with a crime. The suspect is expected in court Friday for an arraignment hearing.  

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