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Mother grieves for daughter killed in apartment shooting
Family and friends of the victims have placed candles, flowers and condolences at the entrance of the Pinewood Village Apartments. The following Federal Way residents died April 21 in what police call a domestic violence homicide:
• Justine Baez, 24, the live-in girlfriend of gunman Dennis Clark III, 27.
• Ceasar Valdovinos, 23, and Bradley Fischer, 47, who confronted the gunman in the parking lot.
• Roland Scobee, 62, was a neighborhood advocate who was shot in his apartment.
Baez’s mother, Susan Meyer, posted on The Mirror’s site: “She didn’t deserve to die. No one did. My family extends our condolences to the other family members.”
According to Meyer’s Facebook page, Baez was getting ready to graduate from Highline Community College, and had been accepted to Central Washington University as well as University of Washington-Tacoma. The mother and daughter had planned to meet for lunch on Monday: “We were supposed to get together for lunch, today, and you weren’t there. Not like you... I wondered... my worst fears confirmed. We are all in shock. I wish it was me rather than you. You were the best daughter anyone could ever ask for.”
Meyer told The Mirror she was out of town with her husband to visit family and "get away from everything."
Federal Way police say Baez and Clark had been dating for eight years, and had been living together for five years.
Clark had no criminal history, but was involved in two prior calls related to verbal domestic violence. He was not arrested for those calls, which did not involve Baez.
On March 23, Federal Way police responded to a call at an apartment in the 32000 block of Military Road South. Neighbors reported hearing a female screaming for help. Clark and another woman got into a dispute when she tried to break up with him. The police report says Clark ripped her jacket and tried to take her phone. No injuries were reported.
When officers arrived, Clark fled the scene in a vehicle registered to Baez. Police located the vehicle in the complex, which was blocked by officers. Clark was never contacted.
Federal Way hosted a community meeting on Wednesday for the residents of Pinewood Village Apartments. Click here to read more.
Pictured below are items left at a memorial outside the entrance to Pinewood Village Apartments. The bottom photo is part of a tribute to Justine Baez.