Updated 11 a.m. Thursday: Shooter Identified in McKenna Murder-Suicide


The Pierce County medical examiner on Thursday stated the man who used a shotgun to kill Dr. Robert Sowers and then himself Wednesday morning at Sowers' chiropractic office in McKenna was Robert John Knapp, 35, of Roy

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ed Troyer confirmed Knapp was a patient of Sowers, but the motive is currently unknown.

“He was the kindest person you would ever meet,” said Amber Baxter, a community member who knew Sowers. “For someone to walk in and do what they did was horrible.”

Troyer said the only other person in the office at the time was a massage therapist who was unharmed.

According to KIRO TV, detectives said they interviewed the massage therapist and she said she heard the two men arguing before the shooting started.

Deputies responded to a shots fired call at 8:25 a.m. Knapp entered the office with a shotgun and fired twice.

Sowers, 46, is the only chiropractor in McKenna and owns several rental properties in the area. He has worked in the greater McKenna, Roy and Yelm areas for more than 21 years. He was married and had two children.

Community members on Facebook are planning a candlelight vigil for Dr. Sowers at Yelm City Park at 8:30 p.m. tonight.

“In times like this we have to pull together as a community and support each other and support the families that lost a loved one and honor the people that we lost,” said Nichole Woolsey, of Yelm, on her Facebook page. “I hope to see all of you there tomorrow.”


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