Details of Vancouver murder-suicide released

E. Vancouver man fatally shot wife, wounded son before killing himself

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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Danny Lee Luster’s wife died after he shot her in the head and he then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and neck Monday at the couple’s home in east Vancouver, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Luster also shot and critically wounded his son and killed the family dog, according to a search warrant affidavit released Thursday.

The affidavit reveals new details about the murder-suicide that took place at about 5:20 a.m. Monday at 13007 N.E. 52nd St. in the North Image neighborhood. The document shows that Danny Luster’s son, Matthew, 23, was shot at close range in the abdomen with a SKS rifle when he attempted to stop his father’s shooting rampage and a struggled ensued. He remained in critical condition early Thursday in the intensive care unit at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Vancouver police were called to the residence when neighbors heard gunshots and screaming coming from the Luster residence. Patrol officers entered the home and found Danny Luster with a gunshot wound to the head in the living room. They found the bodies of his wife, Sandra Luster, and the family dog’s inside a bedroom. In another bedroom, they found Matthew Luster, who was calling for help.

The medical examiner’s office determined Sandra Luster’s death was a homicide, while Danny Luster’s manner of death was suicide.

According to the search warrant affidavit, Danny Luster had recently been showing signs of depression.

“The family was in the process of making him an appointment with a mental health professional,” Vancouver police Detective Carole Boswell said in the affidavit.

During a search of the residence, detectives found five rifles, including the suspected murder weapon, two shotguns, boxes of ammunition, shell casings and live rounds, according to court records. They also found a prescription for alprazolam, also known as Xanax, for Danny Luster. Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and depression. One of its side effects can be thoughts of suicide, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Vancouver police continue to investigate the case.