When David Steckler arrived for his doctors appointment this week, he didn’t think he’d be staring death in the face.
But that’s what happened when he arrived to Dr. Robert Sowers’ clinic.
Investigators from the Pierce County sheriff’s office said around 8:25 a.m., Wednesday, that alleged gunman Robert Knapp, 35, walked into the clinic and shot Dr. Robert Sowers, 46, and then himself.
KIRO reports, “There was an exchange, and some shots fired,” said Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer. “What actually led up to it we’re still trying to determine.”
The small town of McKenna isn’t accustomed to this type of thing, and it’s left them understandably shaken and stunned.
Amber Baxter, a former patient of Sowers, who lives in one of the Doctor’s rental properties couldn’t even fathom that he had enemies.
She said, “I’ve known Bob for years. The most amazing guy you’d ever want to meet to be your friend. You never heard of him doing something bad to somebody. It was always him helping somebody. And for someone to walk in there and do what they did is horrible.”
They expect to finish their autopsies on both bodies by Thursday. Once the medical examiner can confirm the identity of the shooter, they will release that information as well.
The alleged shooter, Knapp, may be married to a massage therapist employed at the holistic clinic. We will confirm that as soon as we have more information.
UPDATE: Investigators STILL remain unsure as to why Robert Knapp blazed into Dr. Robert Sowers’ McKenna chiropractic office and killed him, before killing himself.
We do know that 35-year-old Knapp was a patient at McKenna Chiropractic Center and that his wife was the receptionist there.
However, newly interviewed friends of Knapp’s said they couldn’t believe such a “good-humored, friendly man was capable of killing someone”. Knapp’s former boss, Rick Block, general manager at Prosser Piano & Organ Co. in Tacoma said, “We’re in shock because this is not the kind of guy you’d think would do these types of things”.
Knapp had worked for nearly 16 years as the head driver and piano mover.
Block reports that Knapp was at work the day before the shooting and showed no signs of distress or unhappiness. In fact, his co-workers report that he arrived with a smile and left with a smile.
Dr. Robert Sowers, the married father of two, ran the center for more than 21 years. He also volunteered as a 4-H shooting instructor at Upper Nisqually Sportsmen Club in Eatonville. Makenzie Good, the 4-H coordinator, said, “Bob was a great 4-H volunteer who gave countless hours working with 4-H youth and volunteers,” she said. “He had such a positive impact on so many youth. Our condolences go out to his family and the many people he had such a positive impact on.”