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Nov. 28, 2021

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Finley man’s dad was shot and grandfather killed. Friends are trying to help

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A former high school classmate and members of the local disc golf community have organized two separate fundraisers to help a Finley man whose grandfather was killed and father injured in last week’s rampage.

Bo Zlatich lived in one of the homes that was believed to be set on fire early Wednesday by neighbor Ryan Kaufman.

While investigators across the Tri-Cities are still trying to determine what led up to the mayhem and piece together the evidence, Zlatich is trying to pick up the pieces of his life.

His grandfather, Emil “Bob” Zlatich Jr., was found dead inside the family’s burning home. And his dad, Emil “Rob” Zlatich III, was found in the backyard, wounded by gunshots.

“The Zlatiches are having a hard time at this time as Bo lost everything he owned: clothes, shoes, car, EVERYTHING!” wrote the organizer of a GoFundMe account.

The campaign — started immediately in the aftermath of the Aug. 25 events — said Bo Zlatich’s dad had been shot twice and was flown to a Spokane hospital for surgery.

An update to the original post said the 58-year-old was in stable condition after a successful operation, and had been able to talk with his son on Friday over FaceTime.

“But the one thing that happened that they will not be able to recover from (is) the loss of their grandpa Bob in the fire and loss of their home,” the organizer continued.

“I am making this to help Bo and the rest of their family try to recover from the loss of their home and their belongings, medical bills and possible funeral arrangements for Bob.”

The organizer increased the goal to $25,000 after an early influx of donations. It had reached just over $9,000 as of Monday afternoon.

One donor called it “too horrible for words,” while another said, “Good people shouldn’t have to go through this stuff.”

Bob Zlatich, 77, was the former owner of Zip’s by the Cable Bridge restaurant.

Also killed at some point in Wednesday’s fiery and deadly rampage were Vickie and Daniel Kaufman, the parents of 43-year-old suspect Ryan Kaufman.

Vickie Kaufman, 68, was a longtime Tri-Cities educator. Dan Kaufman, 75, was Kennewick’s retired city engineer.

The couple were discovered in their home later Wednesday by a relative who had gone to check on them after he had not heard from them for a day.

The man told emergency dispatchers that he found the Kaufmans “murdered,” and identified Ryan Kaufman as their son.

Ryan Kaufman, a Tri-Cities electrical worker, is believed to have died Wednesday inside a burning pickup in West Richland.

His truck caught fire during a police chase that ended in an exchange of gunfire with four officers. The coroner has said his identification is pending.

The incidents that stretched some 20 miles across the Tri-Cities may have started just before 4 a.m. when Benton County deputies were called about a break-in at an East Finley Road home.

That was the Zlatich home, which the 911 caller said was on fire, along with the neighbor’s house.

“Bo has literally lost everything in this absolutely tragedy that has happened,” said a Facebook post in the “Windy Cities Disc Golf!” group. “So this is very obvious and clear we need to come together and show all the support we can for him and the rest of the Zlatich family.”

Bo Zlatich has been an avid disc golfer for years.

Justin Guilliam, the Tri-City Disc Golf Club president and an administrator of that Facebook group, said the community has come together to gather donations for their fellow disc golfer and organize a tournament.

“Bo is a very good and kind person, (the) type of person who would help you out and never ask for anything in return,” Guilliam told the Tri-City Herald. “He would be the guy that would jump into the river for you to try and get your disc back if you (had) thrown it in there.”

The fundraiser is scheduled this Sunday, Sept. 5, at Two Rivers Park, and the club has received trophies to be handed out to the tournament’s winners.

It will be a doubles event — Bring Your Own Partner — at $30 a team. Sign-ups start at 10 a.m., the players meeting will be at 10:52 a.m. and the tournament gets under way at 11:15 a.m.

In addition to accepting monetary donations for the family, Guilliam said there will be a box at the tournament to collect any plastic/golf bag/practice basket or “non-disc golf related” items for Bo Zlatich.

“Bo Bo, we love you buddy. We want to help you!” Guilliam posted in the Facebook group. “Your disc golf family is here for you, my friend!!!”

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