Suspected double-killer might have lived with one of the victims

John F. Loring might have lived at Ray J. Varney’s Diamond Point home for several days after he allegedly killed him — and before he shot David J. Randle to death Tuesday at Randle’s Woodcock Road home, Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said.

Loring, 45, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday morning, was homeless while living on the North Olympic Peninsula but was being provided with money from a trust account in Victoria, where he had family connections, said Ron Cameron, sheriff’s chief criminal deputy, on Thursday.

Authorities continued to piece together details of the double-slaying and suicide Thursday.

Authorities believe Loring killed Varney, 68, in Varney’s Fleming Road living room as early as Feb. 16, dragged his body into the bedroom and covered it with a trash bag, Benedict said Thursday.

Varney “had been dead at least possibly as early as last Thursday” or as late as Sunday, Benedict said.

Cameron said a detailed review of autopsy results, which showed Thursday that Varney and Randle died of three gunshot wounds each, may be able to determine when Varney died.

The gunshot wounds in Varney’s body were consistent with a firearm found at Varney’s residence, not the handgun that was found in Loring’s possession after he killed himself, Cameron said.

Cameron said there is still “little doubt in my mind” Loring killed Varney.

The Port Angeles Police Department is coordinating the autopsy of Loring, which had not been completed as of mid-afternoon Thursday, Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said.

Interviews with Varney’s neighbors indicated “things were odd after last Wednesday” at Varney’s residence,” Benedict said.

“He was seen at this guy’s house by neighbors,” Benedict said.

When Loring had contact with Varney’s neighbors from late last week until a few days ago, Loring “seemed very protective of the house,” Benedict said.

“You could conclude he was staying there,” Benedict said.

“It’s very possible he was staying at the dead guy’s house for three or four days.”

Investigators will obtain toxicology reports and State Patrol Crime Lab evaluations before submitting the evidence for review by the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Benedict said.

Investigators don’t know of a clear motive for the killings.

But they believe they are domestic-violence related because Loring had had dating relationships with Varney’s daughter and Randle’s mother, Benedict said.

Loring, an American citizen, had called the executor of his trust account in Victoria on Tuesday afternoon — “while we were looking for [Loring],” Cameron said — from a land line within the apartment where Loring later died at 2202 W. 16th St. in Port Angeles, Cameron said.

The executor, who was tipped off by someone that Loring was being sought by police, called law enforcement authorities in Clallam County, Cameron said.

They traced the call to the apartment in which Loring had barricaded himself, Benedict said.

A standoff that included a State Patrol SWAT team ensued, and Loring killed himself late Wednesday morning as tear gas was lobbed into the apartment, authorities said.

Authorities believe Loring stole Varney’s pickup truck Sunday after he killed Varney because Loring was driving the vehicle after he allegedly shot Randle during an altercation at Randle’s house early Tuesday morning.

It was a felony for Loring to be on Randle’s property due to a protection order preventing Loring from being near or contacting Randle’s mother, county Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said Thursday.

Two witnesses reported the shooting at about 10:15 a.m., authorities said.

Peregrin said Randle may have been shot on the porch of Randle’s home.

“Some kind of confrontation took place at the front door,” Peregrin said.

“There were two witnesses on the property, and they actually saw him when the shots were fired.”

Two eyewitnesses interviewed Thursday by Peninsula Daily News provided a more detailed account.

Randle desperately attempted to bar Loring from entering the Woodcock Road home where Randle and his mother were living before Loring fatally shot Randle just inside the doorway, the men said.

The witnesses, who were building a garage next to the home when the shooting broke out at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, agreed to talk to the Peninsula Daily News only on grounds of anonymity, saying they had a reputable Sequim construction business to protect and did not want to be associated with the crime.

They said they ran to a neighbor’s home to call 9-1-1 after seeing Loring with a gun and hearing shots fired inside the cream-colored flat-roofed home at 3923 Woodcock Road.

“This guy pulled up into the driveway, parked, then pulled a box out of it and walked to the door saying ‘nice garage,’” one of the men said.

After Loring knocked on the door, Randle cracked it open, the men said.

Randle struggled to prevent Loring from entering before he barged into the house, they said.

Looking through the window, they saw that Loring had pulled out a gun and was pointing it inside just before shooting broke out.

“I ran to my truck to grab my pistol,” one of the men said.

“Then I realized I don’t have it. Realizing we were not armed, we decided not to bring a hammer to a gunfight.”

After he was shot, Randle staggered out of a side door of the home and fell face down into the gravel driveway.

“John was unloading the gun in the house. He shot up the house,” the witness said, where Randle’s mother, Shellie Gillis, was hiding with her boyfriend.

Neither was hurt.

Cameron confirmed Randle’s body was found in the driveway.

Loring then ran to the truck he allegedly stole from Varney, backed quickly out of the driveway and sped off west on Woodcock, the witnesses said.

He died about 24 hours later in a bathroom of the Evergreen Court Apartments in Port Angeles.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at jeff.chew@peninsuladailynews.com.

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