A Washington state podcast host and her husband were killed early Friday morning by a truck driver from Texas who had stalked the woman, police said.
Speaking to reporters, Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe called the killings the “absolute worst outcome for a stalking case.”
“This is every victim’s, every detective’s, every police chief’s worst nightmare,” he said.
Authorities believe the shooter, identified as Ramin Khodakaramrezaei, 38, broke into the couple’s home in Redmond, about 15 miles northeast of Seattle, through a bedroom window around 2 a.m. The woman’s mother encountered the shooter but escaped and went to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
When officers arrived, they found the woman’s husband, 35, with a gunshot wound to the chest, Redmond police spokesperson Jill Green said.
Police performed CPR on the man, but he died from his injury. The woman, 33, was found dead inside the residence along with the shooter. Green said the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The victims have not been identified.
Lowe said the woman and suspect met through a social network app in a group for Farsi speakers.
“Apparently he got to know her because of a podcast that she was doing and they struck up kind of a friendship, talked,” Green said. “But then he began to just send a lot of messages to the point that she decided to disengage.”
The woman first contacted the Redmond Police Department in December, Lowe said, and followed up in January because the suspect’s action’s “intensified.”
At one point, Lowe said, she reported more than 100 “contacts” from the man in a single day. He appeared in person and sent via mail gifts and other items, Lowe said.
The victims installed security cameras and did “everything they possibly could” to protect themselves, he said.
Lowe said he was briefed on the case earlier this week.
King County District Court records show that Khodakaramrezaei was charged with one count of misdemeanor stalking and two counts of telephone harassment on March 2, the same day a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
On March 3, a judge granted a temporary protection order against Khodakaramrezaei and set a hearing for a for a full order, the records show.
Khodakaramrezaei, who was not present at the hearing, was ordered to surrender his weapons. Green said that because the gunman lived in Texas, officers could not serve the man with the order “because we weren’t able to make contact with him.”
Police do not know how long he had been in Washington prior to the shooting.
“It’s just unfortunate that the stalking ended in such a tragic way,” Green said.
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