The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Donald W. Myers
The Yakima Herald 

Double homicide remains a dark mystery


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END OF THE ROAD: The 400 block of Brentwood Road is a desolate stretch of nowhere, and the details behind a firefight that erupted there are still clouded in questions.

Five days after a young man and woman were fatally shot at a remote home outside Goldendale, the suspect lies unconscious in a distant hospital bed while investigators struggle to piece together a motive.

"This really came out of left field with this guy," Klickitat County Sheriff's Sgt. Erik Anderson said of the suspect.

Before the shooting, Gary Richard Hawkins, 51, had no criminal record and was essentially unknown to law enforcement officers.

That all changed Thursday at an isolated home at the end of Brentwood Road about 8 miles northwest of Goldendale, where two 18-year-olds were repeatedly shot, two motor homes and a storage shed were set afire, and a gun battle broke out between the suspect and his sister, Anderson said.

The deaths mark Klickitat County's first homicides since a single case in 2013.

Authorities say they are still trying to piece together what led to last week's shooting.

April Lynn Reed, 18, and her boyfriend, Justin Daniel Plunkett, 18, who had recently moved from Oregon to join her, were living in a tent on Hawkins' property when they were both shot multiple times, Anderson said.

Hawkins was Reed's great-uncle, Anderson said.

After shooting the pair, Hawkins engaged in a gun battle with his sister, firing into her trailer through a window as she fired back blindly, Anderson said.

Neither was hit. At some point two motor homes and a shed began burning.

Authorities said Hawkins also shot several vehicles and a chicken before dropping his 9 mm handgun, walking to the road, and surrendering to the first responding deputy.

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DEATH PLAIN: A gunfight on the open stretches of Brentwood Road shown here near Goldendale ended with two teenagers dead and the suspect hospitalized.

"He was calm, eerily so," Anderson said.

The deputy placed Hawkins alone in the back of his patrol unit for a minute while helping look for others at the property. When he returned, Hawkins was not breathing, Anderson said.

A deputy and medics administered CPR and he was flown to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland, where he remains unconscious.

Anderson said a drug overdose has not been ruled out, but noted that the deputy reported Hawkins' speech was not slurred when he spoke with him.

First-degree murder charges were filed in Klickitat County Superior Court on Friday against Hawkins, county Prosecuting Attorney David Quesnel said Monday.

If Hawkins recovers, he will be arrested, Anderson said.


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