'Everybody loved' man gunned down in north Tacoma, friend says

TACOMA, Wash. -- Police believe a Tacoma man shot and killed another man after a neighborhood fight Thursday in north Tacoma before driving to Gig Harbor and killing himself.

Frank Rossiter, Jr., 55, was found dead by Tacoma Police. He worked as a processor for the court system and was the father of a 12-year-old son.

Friends said the gunman took issue with several neighbors for no reason.

"Frank was just Frank," said Mike Kebelbeck, who was friends with him since fifth grade. "Everybody loved him. There wasn't anybody who didn't like Frank."

Rossiter's father, Frank Rossiter Sr, is heartbroken over the sudden loss of his on.

"I think the last thing I said to him was, 'Peace be with you son,'" he said.

Frank Sr. said his son had a heart like his mother's, and it's his heart that he loved the most.

"I'm 85 and the way I figure in another four or five years, I'll be getting on that bus out of town too and going up to those pearly gates, so that's what I'm waiting on," he said.

Police received several 911 calls about gunshots being fired in the area of North 46th and North Ferdinand streets just after 8 p.m. One neighbor told police they saw a man standing on a nearby porch firing a gun, according to Loretta Cool with the Tacoma Police Department.

"I looked out the window and saw this guy walking around the side of Frank's house with a gun pointed straight down at the ground," neighbor John Evans said.

Evans said the man threatened other neighbors before he left.

"It's a pretty surreal feeling when you have a killer standing at your door, ringing your doorbell right after he killed somebody," Evans said.

Officers and a SWAT team swarmed into the neighborhood and began an extensive search for the shooter.

Neighbors said they had to get out of the way as police crews tore through side streets.

"We pulled over and they went flying by us. So we pulled over and then a second one and a third one and as we were pulling in, everyone kind of swarmed in all at the same time," said Heather Karl, who lives in the area.

During the search, police got word of an apparent suicide in Gig Harbor. A truck found at the site of the suicide was traced back to a home near the fatal Tacoma shooting.

Thursday night was the first time Evans heard threats from the man, he said.

The man said, "If I ever go off the reservation these are the first guys I'm going to kill and he said this four or five times during the course of the conversation," Evans said.

Police confirmed that the apparent suicide victim in Gig Harbor is thought to have killed the man in Tacoma, though it's unclear how the two men were connected.

The names of the gunman has not been released, and it was not exactly clear what prompted the initial shooting.

"He was a very special person," Kebelbeck said. "I'm just going to miss Frank."