On Sunday, April 21, around 9:30 p.m., 24-year-old Justine Baez was shot to death by her 27-year-old boyfriend, Dennis Clark III, in their Federal Way apartment. Neighbors began frantically calling 911 as soon as the first shots were fired. "I heard it so clearly, somebody dropped... I heard someone falling," said one woman. "I am so worried about Justine," said another.
Then Clark exited the apartment and made his way down two flights of stairs and into the parking lot, where he came upon Ceasar Valdovinos, 23, and Bradley Fischer, 47, "minding their own business," according to a Federal Way police commander speaking to a room full of shell-shocked neighbors a few days later. No one knows precisely what happened in that parking lot, since none of the three men survived. Presumably, Clark was trying to flee the scene. Whatever occurred in the parking lot "delayed the assailant," according to the police commander, Kyle Sumpter. "Unfortunately, it cost those two heroes their lives." Clark "cowardly shot them as they were trying to get away," and then for some reason decided to go back upstairs, "back into his apartment, where Justine lay."
On the 911 tapes, bursts of gunshots go off, sounding like popcorn. As Clark went back upstairs to the apartment, two residents stepped out of their doorways. One was Roland Scobee, 62, known by neighbors as a sort of watchdog for the building. Scobee told the other neighbor to get inside and call 911, and they both retreated back into their apartments. "As far as we know," said Sumpter, "those are Roland's last words." Clark shot down Scobee's door with a shotgun and killed him, too. When Clark stepped back out of Scobee's apartment, he was confronted by the first officers on the scene. "He had two weapons, and he used both," said Sumpter.