It’s difficult for Glen Whitton to grasp what happened inside the Federal Way home he shares with his wife, Judy, his wife’s twin sister, Julie Hocking, and her husband, Kevin.
A violent and destructive standoff started there midday Wednesday when a 36-year-old man ran into the home after a nearby hit-and-run collision. It ended more than 12 hours later with the suspect’s death.
The still-unidentified man was killed after exchanging gunfire with police.
While inside the home on 29th Avenue South, the suspect did considerable damage while hiding in crawl spaces and tearing into walls.
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The other damage was done by multiple rounds of pepper spray and tactics meant to get the suspect out while keeping the neighborhood safe.
Throughout it all, the home and most of its contents were destroyed, including autographed Steve Largent jerseys and other Seattle Seahawks memorabilia.
“All gone. Every bit of it,” Whitton said.
However, an entry wall honoring Kevin Hocking’s son, Sgt. Brandon Hocking - killed while fighting with the U.S. Army in Iraq - was left mostly intact.
Whitton said those items have already been packed up and are safe.
“He gave his life for his country,” Whitton said.
Even if the home weren’t a shambles, the still-lingering residue of pepper spray makes it nearly impossible to breathe.
The home’s extensive front and back yards suffered damage, too.
“There was a wall there and that got knocked down,” Julie Hocking said.
She assumes it was trampled by an armored personnel carrier used during the standoff. Despite the disruption, the four family members hold very little ill-will towards the suspect.
“I’m sorry that young man lost his life in there,” Whitton said.
“For the safety of our police officers, it was necessary the way it happened,” Whitton said. “Their safety is more important than anything.”
The Whittons and Hockings have been told all costs will be covered by insurance and the city of Federal Way.