SEATTLE – A close friend of Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen shot one of Owen's sons in an apparent workplace dispute Monday afternoon and then shot himself in the head, the lieutenant governor said.
Mark Owen, 37, was listed in satisfactory condition Monday evening at Harborview Medical Center.
The lieutenant governor identified the shooter as Carlos Fernandez, the owner of KBP & Fabrications and the business partner of Mark Owen. The shooting happened at KBP & Fabrications, a paint, body and fabrication shop for semi-trucks in Kent, south of Seattle.
A nursing supervisor at Harborview said the shooter remained hospitalized Monday night in critical condition. Police have not confirmed Fernandez was the shooter.
"We're elated that Mark is OK, but it is a horrible tragedy because the person who shot my son is also one of my very, very best friends, and it does not look very good for him right now," Brad Owen said at an impromptu hospital news conference.
The shop owned by Fernandez opened in 1982, according to its Web site.
"How do you comprehend anybody shooting anybody, (much) less your own son by your own friend? That's all I can tell you," Brad Owen said.
Kent police were called to the scene at about 2:30 p.m. and found the shooter with life-threatening injuries. Mark Owen, shot in the arm and abdomen, was found about a block away from the scene, where a friend was trying to take him to a hospital.
Police said there were no other injuries or suspects.
Brad Owen said his son has worked for Fernandez for about three years, recently becoming a business partner. But the lieutenant governor said the two had a rocky relationship, "both economically and personally with each other."
"From what I understand, they had had a meeting. It didn't go too well. Carlos got upset and confronted my son, and in trying to leave, he was shot," Owen said.
Mark Owen is engaged to be married and has a 6-month-old son, said Brian Dirks, spokesman for the lieutenant governor.