Smith Tower shooter dies of natural causes while in hospital care

Robert Breck, 80, was in custody at the Clark County Jail before being transferred to an area hospital on Feb. 5 due to an illness

VANCOUVER — Robert Breck, the man accused of shooting three people inside the lobby of the Smith Tower in downtown Vancouver on Oct. 3, has died of natural causes.

Robert E. Breck is wheeled into court in October. Breck was charged with shooting three people at Vancouver’s Smith Tower. Photo by Mike Schultz

The 80-year-old Breck was booked into the Clark County Jail on Oct. 30 for three counts of Murder 1 in relation to the Smith Tower shooting. On Feb. 5, Smith was transported to an area hospital due to an illness. He passed away on Feb. 11 while in hospital care.

Breck pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the shooting of 75-year-old Dean Tunstall, 77-year-old Enelia Montoya and 44-year-old Shawne Garris. A report from the Clark County Coroner’s office said Tunstall died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

According to probable cause documents, Breck told investigators he shot Tunstall over a simmering feud. Garris said Breck had offered her money to be his mistress, which she declined. She was later fired as Breck’s caretaker and told detectives he began spreading rumors about her around the senior living facility. Garris still worked as a caretaker for Montoya at the time of the shooting.

A trial date had been set for May 11.

Breck’s death is considered an in custody death due to being lodged at the Clark County Jail.

No further information is available at this time.

Information in this report was provided by the Clark Co. Sheriff’s Office.

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