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Dec. 5, 2021

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Competency evaluation ordered for Smith Tower shooting suspect

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

An 80-year-old man accused in the October shooting at Smith Tower that killed a fellow resident and wounded another resident and her caregiver, will undergo a court-ordered competency evaluation.

Robert “Bob” Breck has been charged in Clark County Superior Court with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Renee Alsept, Breck’s court-appointed attorney, told Judge David Gregerson on Wednesday during a hearing that she was concerned about her client’s competency to stand trial, according to court records.

Gregerson ordered the evaluation, without objection from Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Colin Hayes, and a hearing was scheduled for Jan. 31.

Breck is being held without bail at the Clark County Jail after he waived a bail hearing Oct. 8. A mental health expert will conduct the evaluation at the jail before the next hearing, court records say.

Breck was arrested Oct. 3 after a nearly 2½-hour standoff with law enforcement at the senior living apartment tower in downtown Vancouver. He fired shots in the building’s lobby, leaving three people with gunshot wounds, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

Dean Leon Tunstall, 75, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The Clark County medical examiner determined that he died of gunshot wounds to the chest from a revolver. Police identified the injured resident as Enelia Montoya, 73, and caregiver as Shawne L. Garris, 44.

Breck told investigators that he had an ongoing feud with Tunstall, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

In the weeks before the shooting, Breck also asked his caregiver to be his mistress, according to court records. When she declined, Breck fired her, but she continued to care for his neighbor, an affidavit said. Court records don’t specify if or how Breck’s connection to the caregiver and the men’s reported feud are related.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter