A Longview father and son are dead after what police are calling an apparent homicide-suicide that occurred early Thursday morning in the 900 block of Eighth Avenue.
The two decedents have been identified as 34-year-old David Michael Pittore-Montiel and 7-year-old Michael Landon Pittore-Montiel, according to the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office. Cause, manner and mechanism of death are currently pending, with a post-mortem examination scheduled for mid-day Friday.
Sandra Leann Carroll, mother of Michael Landon Pittore-Montiel, has been notified of the deaths. Carroll currently lives in California, according to the coroner’s press release.
Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha said at a press conference Thursday morning that police officers responded to an apartment complex in the 900 block of Eighth Avenue at 5:24 a.m. Police had received a call from a third party who said an adult male was exhibiting suicidal behavior. After arriving, officers knocked on the door of the subject’s apartment, but no one answered.
Officers then heard two gunshots, backed away and set up containment around the area while trying to evacuate the other apartments in the complex. Lower Columbia SWAT was called in, and officers made PA announcements attempting to get somebody to come to the door.
At about 6:38 a.m. officers broke open the front door and entered the apartment, where they found the bodies of one adult male and one child.
Michael Pittore-Montiel attended first grade at Northlake Elementary School.
“We are incredibly saddened by the loss of a vibrant young boy,” said Longview School Superintendent Dan Zorn. “We are working with our staff now and our students, we have counselors all over the district that have converged on Northlake Elementary to provide the support needed for our staff members, for our children and for families in that process.”
Neighbor Krystal Powell said that she and her boyfriend, who have lived in the same apartment complex since November, didn’t notice any unusual behavior from Pittore-Montiel leading up to the incident.
“My boyfriend knew him a bit better than I did,” Powell said. “My boyfriend actually went over to his place of employment yesterday, which is McDonald’s. And my boyfriend says (he) appeared to be happy, positive and upbeat with no warning signs. But you don’t really know what a person is going through.”
Powell said that the child’s mother “wasn’t in the picture” but that the young Michael would often play with other children in the complex.
“(He was) so outgoing and friendly,” Powell said. “He was a little boy ... always riding his bike and wanting to go to the park and play with the other kids that live around here.”
David Pittore-Montiel accessed the services of Lower Columbia CAP to find housing for himself and his son, according to a CAP press release.
“David set an outstanding example of someone willing to put in the time and effort required to rebuild his life,” the press release said. Pittore-Montiel grew up in foster care, became homeless after his discharge from the military and had his identity stolen.
“And yet, he overcame all of that,” the press release said.
Pittore-Montiel sought counseling, had a job, became a restaurant manager and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, according to the press release.
He also participated in a commercial for CAP last year. The video shows him taking advantage of all the services the program has to offer.
“I was homeless with my five-year-old child, unemployed, stranded − didn’t know anybody,” Pittore-Montiel says in the video. “They helped us with food, vouchers, credit, health treatment, employment and permanent housing.”
Pittore’s Facebook contains many images of himself and his son together. The “intro” section of his page states: “Single daddy making it. Keeping that smile on my son’s face and focusing on the road ahead of us.”