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Rampage suspect called mentally ill

The mother of a man held in the deaths of 6 in Washington says he had lived in the woods.

September 04, 2008|From the Associated Press

ALGER, WASH. — A somber police motorcade carried a slain deputy's body away from the scene of a bloody rampage Wednesday as investigators tried to determine what set off a shooting and stabbing spree that left six people dead and four wounded.

The mother of suspect Isaac Zamora, who was released from jail less than a month ago, said he was "desperately mentally ill" and had been living in the woods. Dennise Zamora said one of those killed Tuesday was a sheriff's deputy who had tried to help their family for years.

Isaac Zamora, 28, was being held Wednesday on $5-million bail on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

The shootings began close to Dennise Zamora's house near the small town of Alger, about 70 miles north of Seattle. They continued amid a high-speed police pursuit on Interstate 5 and ended in Mount Vernon, about 20 miles south, when Isaac Zamora surrendered at a sheriff's office.

County court records show Isaac Zamora has a history of petty violence and theft.

Dennise Zamora told the Associated Press by telephone that she felt for the families of the victims.

"I wish it would have been him or me that was killed," she said. "That's how deeply I feel about it."

"My son was desperately mentally ill and we've been trying to get him help," she said she wanted people to know.

She told the Seattle Times that her son had lived in the woods off and on for years, was unaware of his mental illness and resisted all efforts to get him to accept treatment. She said she didn't know where he got the gun.

Skagit County Deputy Sheriff Anne Jackson, 40, was shot while responding to a call from Dennise Zamora, who told the Times that she called after seeing her son going in and out of her neighbors' homes.

Also killed were an unidentified man shot at the same location near Alger; two male construction workers who were found shot nearby; and a 48-year-old woman found a few houses away, authorities said.

A motorist identified as Leroy Lange, 64, was shot and killed along I-5 near a rest stop, said Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz.

Those wounded including two men in the Alger area. One was shot and the other was stabbed, but neither injury was considered life-threatening. A Washington state trooper was wounded while trying to stop the gunman on the freeway, the State Patrol said. And a motorcyclist was shot in the arm at a Shell station.

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