FEDERAL WAY, WASH., JULY 12 -- A man who reportedly had a history of mental illness methodically killed seven members of his family, possibly over a period of two days, then killed himself late Saturday when police went to his home, authorities said.
The gunman, who killed his parents, his two children, his wife and her parents, was identified today as Daniel Patrick Lynam, 36, by the King County medical examiner's office.
The bodies of Lynam's parents and his wife's parents were found Saturday night at their separate homes about three miles apart in north Tacoma. The bodies of Lynam, his wife, 2-year-old daughter and 5-week-old son were found at their rented house in Federal Way, 10 miles north of Tacoma.
"We're sure that all of the incidents are all tied together," Tacoma Police Sgt. Steve Smith said late Saturday. "Everyone involved in this situation today was related."
All four of those killed in Tacoma died of gunshot wounds to the head, and the slayings may have occurred as early as Friday, police said.
King County police spokesman Dick Larson said a man who did not identify himself called police Saturday evening and reported that a man he identified as his brother had just telephoned and told him he had killed some people and was about to kill himself. The caller said his brother had a history of mental illness, Larson said.
He said the caller directed police to a home in Federal Way where they were met by a man who told them to stay back and added, "I don't want to hurt you."
About 10 minutes after officers arrived, they heard a noise inside the house, Larson said. Entering a few minutes later they found four people dead of gunshot wounds.
Lynam apparently committed suicide after killing his wife and children, Larson said. There were no signs of a struggle, he added.
The medical examiner's office identified Lynam's wife as Linda Jean Lynam, 34, and their children as Shaina Lynam and Jason Lynam.
In Tacoma, police were called Saturday evening by a resident of a condominium building, The Highlands, who asked them to check on an older couple in the building. Fire department officials and police found the couple's bodies in their apartment, Smith said.
About two hours later, Tacoma police received a call from a woman in Olympia who asked them to check on another couple, to whom she was related, and police also found that couple dead, Smith said.