Accused Gig Harbor grocery shooter now charged with murder

TACOMA, Wash. - A 20-year-old woman accused of opening fire and shooting three people in a Gig Harbor grocery is now charged with murder after one of the victims died.

Laura K. Sorenson appeared Friday in Pierce County Superior Court, where prosecutors filed a charge of first-degree murder against her two months after the death of David Long, 40, of Wauna.

She is charged with attempted murder and assault in the attacks on the other two victims.

Sorenson is accused of walking into the Peninsula Market at Lake Kathryn Village just before 1 p.m. on Aug. 11 and firing at customers until she was tackled to the ground.

Long was the most seriously injured of the three victims. He was hit in the torso by a bullet that went through his body and out his back. He was taken to Tacoma General Hospital, where he remained until his death in October.

One other man was hit in the leg by gunfire. A third man, a store cashier, was wounded from a ricochet.

According to court documents, witnesses told police that Sorenson said something about "killing" people prior to pulling out a revolver from her purse and firing four to five shots.

After the shooting, Sorenson revealed to detectives she has a mental condition and is on medication, documents said, adding she wanted to kill herself and wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone else first. Sorensen also told detectives she had been molested as a young child and hated men, prosecutors said.

Long's sister, Heidi Michaelson, attended Friday's court hearing and said the murder charge against Sorenson is "warranted."

"He was murdered by her. So it's finally ... it took two months, but that's OK ... as long as it got done," she said.

She said seeing Sorenson is court made her "physically ill."

"I just wanted to reach across and strangle her," she said. "He suffered for eight long weeks. Yes, he suffered. I just wanted to ask her how it feels to know that she did what she went into the grocery store to do, and that was to kill somebody."

She said she sees similarities between the grocery shooting that resulted in her brother's death and the massacre at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Conn.

"It's horrible. ... I call her mentally evil," said Michaelson. "These people need a new name. It's mentally evil. Because mentally ill people, a lot of them don't do this type of thing."

Sorenson's bail remains unchanged at $1.5 million.