Suspect arrested in Woodland triple homicide

Brent W. Luyster, 35, taken into custody in Cowlitz County

By Mark Bowder, Columbian Metro Team Editor and Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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A photo from the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office shows the site of Saturday's arrest of triple-homicide suspect Brent W. Luyster. (Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)

A more recent photo of triple-homicide suspect Brent W. Luyster. Officials said he was clean-shaven with close-cropped hair when the shooting occurred Friday. (Clark County Sheriff's Office)

A more recent photo of triple-homicide suspect Brent W. Luyster. Officials said he was clean-shaven with close-cropped hair when the shooting occurred Friday. (Clark County Sheriff's Office)

A daylong manhunt ended in the Saturday afternoon arrest of the man suspected in a Friday night shooting near Woodland that killed three people and injured another.

Brent W. Luyster, 35, was taken into custody at 4:15 p.m Saturday on the Ocean Beach Highway west of Longview by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol, according to Sgt. Fred Neiman, spokesman for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are very pleased that Mr. Luyster was taken into custody without incident, without apparently harming anyone while we were looking for him,” Neiman said. “We were fearful that, given what we know of him, it might have been a different story.”

Luyster, a former Vancouver resident, is accused of fatally shooting two men and one woman and wounding another woman Friday night at a house at 4006 N.W. 417th St., just outside Woodland city limits.

The shooting came to light about 10:30 p.m. when a woman with a gunshot wound to the face drove to the AM/PM mini-mart at 1037 Lewis River Road in Woodland. She told authorities that she and three others had been shot, and that Luyster had been the gunman, according to emergency radio traffic.

Law enforcement and medical personnel responding to the 417th Street location found the two men dead outside the residence and the woman dead inside. Their identities are not expected to be made public until later, Neiman said.

The woman remained hospitalized on Saturday, according to Neiman.

As detectives with the Regional Major Crimes Team continued to process the crime scene at the north county residence, authorities went on high alert searching for the Luyster, who was believed to be armed and dangerous, and spread word about him and the vehicles he may have been driving with local news outlets and on social media.

That effort may have led to Luyster’s capture on Saturday afternoon, according to Neiman. He said a call to dispatchers in Cowlitz County helped authorities locate his gold Ford Explorer on the Ocean Beach Highway and make the arrest.

“There was lots of public attention based on Facebook and all the media online stuff, so I really appreciate the media getting the word out that we were looking for this fellow and this vehicle,” Neiman said. “It’s very plausible that it led to him being taken into custody.”

Luyster has close-cropped hair and numerous tattoos, including swastikas and one across his stomach that reads “skinhead.” The Anti-Defamation League has described him as a white supremacist.

His criminal record dates to June 1988, when he was 7, according to Columbian archives. Most recently, he was released from the Cowlitz County Jail on June 8 after appearing in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

Luyster is accused of pistol-whipping his ex-girlfriend at his home in Longview on May 16. He pleaded not guilty on May 25, and his trial was scheduled to start Monday on allegations of assault, harassment and illegal firearm possession.

In the past, he’s been involved in a drive-by shooting, taken a motor vehicle without permission and been convicted of assault, rioting while armed with a deadly weapon, malicious harassment, malicious mischief and theft, among other crimes.

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