<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Monday,  June 24 , 2024

Linkedin Pinterest
News / Clark County News

‘Our hearts are shattered’: Five dead in apparent murder-suicide in Orchards identified as Rouse family

Sheriff's office says man killed his wife, adult daughters, adult brother then himself

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: December 7, 2023, 6:05am
3 Photos
From left to right: Stuart Rouse, 64, Melissa Rouse, 19, Cristina Rouse, 63, and Kristina Rouse, 33. The family, along with Eric Rouse, 57, were identified by relatives as those killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in Orchards.
From left to right: Stuart Rouse, 64, Melissa Rouse, 19, Cristina Rouse, 63, and Kristina Rouse, 33. The family, along with Eric Rouse, 57, were identified by relatives as those killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in Orchards. (Photo contributed by GoFundMe) Photo Gallery

Family members confirmed the Rouse family as the five people killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide at an Orchards home.

An in-law, Anne Aquino, identified them in a text message to The Columbian as Stuart Rouse, 64, Cristina Rouse, 63, Ronald Eric Rouse, 57, Kristina Rouse, 33, and Melissa Rouse, 19.

Authorities have not officially released their identities, but they confirmed the familial relationship among the victims. Clark County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Chris Skidmore said at a Monday press conference that a man shot his wife, their two adult daughters and his adult brother before turning the gun on himself.

The apparent shooter had no known criminal history, Skidmore said, and deputies had not previously been called to the home at 11505 N.E. 92nd St.

Orchards shooting

Abe Lepak speaks to the media after five people were killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in his Orchards neighborhood, according to the Clark County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office, as seen Monday morning.Shooter kills wife, adult daughters and brother before turning gun on himself in apparent murder-suicide in Orchards
A man shot his wife, their two adult daughters and his adult brother before turning the gun on himself, leaving five dead Sunday in an…
Five people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide at a home in Orchards, according to the Clark County Sheriff's Office.Take care of yourself, check on neighbors after tragedies
Tragedies within a community can elicit a wide range of emotions from residents.
Clark County sheriff&rsquo;s Sgt. Chris Skidmore speaks to members of the media after five people died in an apparent murder-suicide Sunday at a home in Orchards, as seen Monday afternoon.Orchards murder-suicide among 41 mass killings in the United States since January, according to AP
Two more mass killings happened in the United States on Sunday in Texas and Washington.
From left to right: Stuart Rouse, 64, Melissa Rouse, 19, Cristina Rouse, 63, and Kristina Rouse, 33. The family, along with Eric Rouse, 57, were identified by relatives as those killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide in Orchards.‘Our hearts are shattered’: Five dead in apparent murder-suicide in Orchards identified as Rouse family
Family members confirmed the Rouse family as the five people killed Sunday in an apparent murder-suicide at an Orchards home.

“Our father was a very patriotic man that proudly served his country,” Aquino said in a text on behalf of Stuart Rouse’s surviving sons. “He was a caring father and protective of his wife and children. He suffered from undiagnosed PTSD, anxiety and depression. He was a proud man and very loving.”

The family members described Cristina, Kristina and Melissa Rouse as “the kindest, most helpful, generous, sweetest human beings — not to mention intelligent. They cared about helping other people the most.”

Cristina Rouse was captured in Columbian photo archives volunteering for FISH, the local emergency food bank.

In a GoFundMe for funeral costs, Aquino wrote, “We’re still in disbelief and our hearts are shattered.”

“We’re trying our best,” Aquino said in a text message to The Columbian. “It comes in waves.”

In a Tuesday statement, Clark County Sheriff John Horch expressed the agency’s condolences to the family and friends and called the shooting a “senseless tragedy.”

“Domestic violence affects our entire community, and we must continue the battle against those who seek to commit acts of violence against the innocent,” Horch said in the statement.

Deputies responded shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday for a welfare check at the house. The home is near Orchards Highlands Neighborhood Park, north of the Clark Public Utilities Operations Center and Padden Parkway.

To Get Help

National suicide hotline: Call or text 988. An online chat is available at 988lifeline.org. Services are free, confidential and 24/7.

National Crisis Text Line: Text “Home” to 741741.

Consumer Voices Are Born local warm line: 360-903-2853, 4 p.m.-midnight daily. A warm line is a confidential, free phone service offering mental health support. Unlike a crisis line, it is not for emergency situations.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text TELLNOW to 85944.

Clark County YWCA SafeChoice Hotline: 360-695-0501 or 1-800-695-0167.

To learn more about what happens when you call a behavioral crisis line, visit namiswwa.org/resources/crisis.

Aquino said her husband received a text from his father, which the sheriff’s office said stated he’d harmed others at the house. Skidmore said the relative who received the text didn’t see it until about four hours after receiving it. Aquino said she and her husband tried multiple times to reach their family in the house, and when they couldn’t, Aquino’s brother-in-law called 911.

Responding deputies tried to contact the residents but were unsuccessful. Deputies used drones to enter the house, the sheriff’s office said, and found several people who appeared to be dead. SWAT members and tactical medics then entered the home and confirmed that five people were dead.

No shots were fired when law enforcement was on scene, leading deputies to believe the family was dead before they arrived, Skidmore said. The autopsies will determine time of death.

Neighbors described the Rouse family to The Columbian as a “typical, normal family,” and they said the shooting was out of the blue. One neighbor, J.D. Hartman, said the shooting highlights the need for more mental health resources in the area.

The Washington Post said Sunday’s shooting, along with another in Dallas in which a man fatally shot four people and then himself, set a new nationwide record for annual mass shootings. The outlet said the incidents marked the 37th and 38th mass shooting of the year, topping last year’s high of 36. The Associated Press’s database indicated the shootings were the 40th and 41st mass shootings of the year.

People can find the GoFundMe at gofundme.com/f/the-rouses.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Ronald Eric Rouse’s full legal name. 

Loading...