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Police: Deputy accused of shooting in-laws found dead

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Deputy accused of killing family, self
  • Police: Washington standoff over; deputy found dead inside home
  • Deputy accused of fatally shooting wife's parents
  • Deputy recently returned to work after extended medical leave

(CNN) -- A Washington state deputy accused of killing two relatives was found dead in a home Saturday morning, police said.

The suspect, an 11-year veteran Pierce County deputy, had been barricaded in the home for hours after shooting his in-laws, police said.

Authorities were not "100 percent" sure that the suspect died from self-inflicted wounds, according to a police spokeswoman.

The suspect's father-in-law died in the home, said Ed Troyer, another sheriff's department spokesman. His mother-in-law was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died, police said.

Troyer added that the deputy held his teenage children hostage for a while, but that they had been released.

Law enforcement were in negotiations with the suspect. The situation had been difficult because he was capable of listening to police radio communications and may have been monitoring what police planned to do, said Pierce County Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Bates.

The suspect had just returned to work after an extended medical leave, Bates said.

The incident occurred in Gig Harbor, about 45 miles southwest of Seattle.

The area has seen a spate of deadly officer-related incidents recently. In December, a Pierce County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed while responding to a domestic incident. That deputy is one of six officers or deputies killed in the last three months of 2009.

The most publicized case was the ambush-style killing of four officers from Lakewood who were gunned down in a coffee shop.

CNN's Greg Morrison and Leslie Tripp contributed to this report.