Lewis-McChord airman shot his wife and sleeping children in murder-suicide, police say

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department responded to a call from Clinton Field, an airman investigators say killed his wife, children and himself in their home.


By STACIA GLENN | The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 14, 2018

An airman assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington shot his son and daughter while they slept in their beds before fatally shooting his wife in a triple homicide-suicide, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

The family of Clinton Field, an administrator in the U.S. Air Force, was found dead in their home early Tuesday. Field killed himself after killing his wife of five years, Samantha; their son, 2-year-old Ashen; and daughter, 4-year-old Ava, investigators said.

Field, 29, made several suicidal comments related to the possible end of his marriage to friends and family members before the shootings, according to the sheriff's department. He posted on Facebook and sent a text message to his father before calling 911 about 1 a.m. Tuesday to report that he'd killed his family and planning to kill himself.

"By the time anybody knew what he'd done, it was too late," sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Dispatchers frantically tried to get Field back on the phone while a SWAT team rushed to the family's home. It was too late.

Field was found dead in the couple's bedroom near his 32-year-old wife. A handgun was recovered nearby.

He had sought treatment for depression in the past and was upset about the deterioration of his marriage, Troyer said.

There was no documented history of abuse in the family and deputies had never been called to the residence.

Field returned from a deployment in Korea 14 months ago, officials said.

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