SIX PEOPLE KILLED IN DEADLY SHOOTING SPREE:
SUSPECT IN CUSTODY
September 03, 2008
(ALGER, WA Skagit County) -- In one of the deadliest shooting rampages in recent state history, police say a man with a criminal record and a history of mental problems shot and killed a sheriff's deputy and five other people yesterday then went on to wound two more people during a chaotic shooting rampage near his rural Skagit County home. The shootings were followed by a high-speed chase along Interstate 5 Tuesday afternoon.
Scene of multiple shootings in Alger, WA.
The suspect is identified as 28-year-old Isaac Zamora who lived in Alger, a tiny hamlet of fewer than 100 residents in North Skagit County. Authorities say he has a criminal record as well as a history of mental health issues and had been living in the woods. The violence came to an end when Zamora turned himself in Tuesday afternoon at the Skagit County Sheriff's Office.
The Skagit County Sheriff's deputy who was killed was later identified as 40-year old Anne Jackson. She was the only deceased victim of the shootings to be identified by authorities by Tuesday evening.
What sparked the shooting spree is unknown but authorities first suspected something was not right at about 2:25 pm Tuesday after deputy Jackson went to investigate a phone call made to the sheriff’s office by the mother of the suspect. Officer Jackson responded to the 19300 block of Bridle Place. Authorities say she did not check in with dispatchers as was expected and that was a sign something may have gone wrong.
Other deputies were dispatched to the location and found officer Jackson deceased. A second victim was found dead at the same address.
Denise Zamora, the suspect's mother, described her son to authorities as "extremely mentally ill" and stated he had been living in the woods on and off for years. She said deputy Jackson was aware of her son's illness and that Jackson told the Zamora family on a previous contact to call her anytime for help. Ms. Zamora said she called deputies Tuesday after watching her son walk in and out of neighbors' houses.
At some point after the body of officer Jackson was discovered police officers began to chase Zamora in his pickup truck southbound on Interstate 5. Zamora was reportedly shooting a gun outside the vehicle during this chase and that while that shooting was underway a motorist driving an SUV, also southbound on I-5, was shot and killed. The man’s car came to a stop in the grassy median between the freeway’s lanes.
During the chase a Washington State Patrol trooper Troy Giddings, 42, was grazed in the arm. Giddings was able to drive himself to United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Washington state records, at the time of the killings Mr. Zamora was on parole and under state supervision. He was considered a non-violent offender yet was classified as a person with high risk of offending again due to long-standing mental-health issues. Zamora had convictions for theft and drug possession and had last reported to a probation officer in Mount Vernon August 21st.
Zamora was released from jail the first week of August. He had been serving time for felony drug possession, according to court records.