SALKUM, Wash. - Police across the state are searching for a suspect in a triple murder in Lewis County.
Investigators believe 31-year-old John Allen Booth shot four people at a home near the small community of Salkum early Saturday morning. Three people died and a fourth is in critical condition.
Police say Booth stopped for gas in Spokane on Saturday afternoon.
Lewis County Sheriff's Commander Steve Aust says Booth used his cell phone to call a friend around noon. When authorities "pinged" his phone, they found he was in Spokane at the time.
Three people were shot to death around 2 a.m. Saturday at a home on Wings Way in rural Salkum, and a fourth person was critically injured.
Friends say five people lived on the property - parents and a teen in the home, another couple in an outside trailer. One of them is Tammi Warner's cousin.
"I don't even know if she's dead or alive," said Warner.
While Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield says the killings were targeted, he's still unclear if someone innocent was gunned down in the process. Officers found other guns inside, but are not saying how the crime played out.
But the sheriff is very clear about the suspect.
"He's a local man with a lot of criminal problems," said Mansfield. "Someone that needs to be in prison."
Booth has a lengthy police record, including convictions for burglary, theft, attempting to elude police, criminal trespass and assault. Prison records show Booth just got out last December and was on community supervision out of Tacoma.
Mansfield says Booth got tangled up with drugs and was at the Salkum home Saturday night, collecting on a debt.
"This is a real sad thing here folks. You look at this drug culture, what goes on here, not just in Lewis County but everywhere, and this is about as bad as it can get, when you're dealing with peoples' lives. This is where it ends up," said Mansfield.
Booth may be driving a blue or teal 1988 Dodge Diplomat, 4 door, WA license number 550-YFA.