GIG HARBOR, Wash. – Minutes after she’d been shot by her son-in-law, Susan Multanen told a 911 operator trouble had been brewing with her son-in-law, Pierce County Dep. Allen Myron for some time.
Operator: "What was going on today that set Allen off like this?"
"Multanen: “You know, we've had a very sticky situation. He had been some kind of an abusive husband for a while … The children are somewhat estranged from their father.”
Operator: "Is he a drinker? Had he been drinking or anything today?"
Multanen: "I don't know ... I don't know."
Investigators said Myron shot his wife’s parents, Monty and Susan Multanen, at his home last month following an argument with his father-in-law. Myron blamed his in-laws for his troubled marriage, and accused them of negatively influencing his wife.
Monty Multanen was shot twice in the driveway, according to investigators.
Susan Multanen was shot once in the chest, but she managed to escape and crawl over to a neighbor’s yard. That neighbor rushed to the wounded woman’s and called 911.
Operator: "Did Dep. Myron shoot you and your husband?"
Susan Multanen: "Yes."
Operator: "OK. Where did he go?"
Multanen: "Well, he was on his driveway, arguing with his daughter."
Operator: "Is he still at the house?"
Multanen: "I don't know, because I crawled through the woods and got away."
Despite having been shot in the chest, Multanen steadily explained the situation back at her daughter’s home, where she’d left behind both her husband and her granddaughter.
Operator: "OK, where were you shot at?"
Multanen: "Lower, like in the lower chest area."
Operator: "Well, you sound like you're doing pretty good. Do you know where your husband was shot at?"
Multanen: "I don't know, but Allen told me he's dead."
Operator: "Allen told you he's dead?"
Operator: "...and he took his daughter and went back outside?"
Multanen: "They were out in the driveway, arguing. She was crying, and I'm not sure where they're at now."
Investigators later said Myron, who admitted he was suicidal, told his 15-year-old daughter to lock herself in the basement of the home. She was not injured.
As Susan Multanen waited for authorities to secure the neighbor’s home so medics could enter, pain set in.
Operator: "Now, how bad is your wound? Are you in a lot of pain?"
Multanen: "Well, it's starting to sting there. I mean, the whole body sort of hurts. And you know, (I’m) having a lot of trouble breathing. And I tried to walk or crawl, and I crawled. I don't know. I don't know if it's affecting my lungs or what."
Susan Multanen was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she later died. Her husband’s body was found in the garage of Myron’s home.
Also found at the home was the body of Myron, whom authorities said had turned the gun on himself during the hours-long standoff with deputies.
Just an hour before the shooting, the deputy’s wife, Sara Myron, contacted her husband's supervisor to express concerns about his recent behavior.
"My understanding is that it was nothing of a major alarm," Tacoma Police Det. Mark Fulghum. "She was just trying to relay that he was a little bit more upset, but there were no threats, no violence, nothing that led her to believe that he was dangerous."
Detectives said Sara Myron never mentioned her
husband's suicide attempt from December 2009. In her previous contacts with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Sarah Myron also said her husband "never assaulted her, made threats to harm her or anyone else and she did not feel he was dangerous," Fulghum said.
As a result, the supervisor set up an appointment for the following week. Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor believes the supervisor acted appropriately.
"After asking, 'Was there grounds for criminal behavior here? Were there grounds for intervening specifically in a criminal situation?' It sounds as if those grounds were not presented," he said.
The victims' family said no one, not even the sheriff's department, had any way of knowing what was to come.
"I think the sheriff's department acted properly," said Gary Multanen, brother of Monty Multanen. "It's an unfortunate situation. No one knew Allen was going to go into a rage."
At the time of the shooting, Myron had just returned to full patrol three months ago after being on light medical leave for 18 months due to a back injury. The 49-year-old deputy was an 11-year veteran of the force.
Tacoma police are investigating the incident.